"While it may seem basic, this practical advice could prove life-saving to children whose home and family situations already make them vulnerable to unintentional injury, the leading cause of death of children over one year of age in this country," says the study's lead author, Catherine Nelson, M.D., M.P.H, a general pediatrics fellow at the Johns Hopkins Children's Center.
In the study, published in the January issue of Pediatrics, researchers asked such parents about their relationship with their children's pediatrician and whether the doctor talked to them during well-child visits about the presence of smoke alarms in the home, use of baby walker and car seats, safe hot water heater temperatures (120F or less), use of stair guards and sunscreen, presence of guns in the home, and bottle propping at bedtime.
Not surprisingly, Nelson says, families who had good relationships with their pediatricians reported receiving more advice on injury prevention issues.
Parents in the study who trusted their children's pediatrician were more likely to follow the doctor's advice and change their behavior. The group of parents who trusted their pediatricians the most changed their behavior on 72 percent of topics discussed by the doctor, while the group who trusted their pediatrician the least changed behavior on 54 percent of topics discussed by the doctor. In particular, the use of car seats was the advice most often followed among parents.
Researchers say that overall, while pediatricians recognize the importance of injury-and-illness-prevention counseling, time constraints during wel
Contact: Jessica Collins
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions