The aim of this literature review was to examine recent evidence of the impact of safety education for children and young people on unintentional injury rates and to update an earlier review. Evidence was sought that linked safety education for children and young people in schools, centres and other settings with changes in knowledge, skills, attitudes, and reductions in injury. The relevance of ten principles of effective safety education to the papers was considered.
A range of bibliographic databases was searched for potentially relevant papers. Titles and abstracts, and then full copies of papers were examined and retained if considered relevant.
From 495 potentially relevant papers, 12 papers were retained that met the aims of the review. The papers covered a range of topics including home safety, use of all‐terrain vehicles and pedestrian safety. While the majority of papers described the effect of an intervention on injury prevention, several described the development of an injury prevention programme. Several papers provided evidence of the impact of safety education on knowledge, behaviour, risk and skills. No papers provided evidence of the impact of safety education on injury rates.
The importance of involving children in designing successful safety education interventions is key. Working with multiple agencies and adoption of a broader community approach is likely to increase the effectiveness of safety education.
The review illustrates the value of applying the ten principles of effective safety education to designing unintentional injury prevention interventions for children and young people.
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