Community education program aims to reduce accident and injuries in children

According to the Centers for Disease Control, unintentional injury is the leading cause of death in children under the age of 14. These injuries occur at home and in the community – and they are predictable, preventable and controllable.

That’s why Dr. Mary Curtis, associate professor, is conducting a community education and research project on that very issue.

The goal of her project is to identify the risk factors for accident and injuries in children of mothers who are struggling with substance abuse, and identify strategies to help prevent those from happening.

Every week, Dr. Curtis visits the Queen of Peace Center to conduct educational sessions with mothers who have agreed to participate. She sets up a simulated home filled with child safety hazards then teaches the mothers to identify such hazards.

Recently, Dr. Curtis’ project just got more mobile – literally! We had an old Winnebago RV that had been sitting in a lot for a few years now. Thanks to funding from our Office of Nursing Research and the Foundation for Barnes-Jewish Hospital, the RV was retrofitted especially for this project. Now, Dr. Curtis can focus on teaching instead of constantly setting up and taking down at the Queen of Peace Center.

So what kinds of items could be potential hazards in the home? Dr. Curtis and co-investigator Dr. Margaret Bultas identify some of them in this video.

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