Open Access Research article

Mothers’ perspectives on the delivery of childhood injury messages: a qualitative study from the growing up in Wales, environments for healthy living study (EHL)

Ashrafunnesa Khanom*, Rebecca A Hill, Sinead Brophy, Kelly Morgan, Frances Rapport and Ronan Lyons

Author Affiliations

College of Medicine, Swansea University, Swansea SA2 8PP, Wales

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BMC Public Health 2013, 13:806  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-13-806

Published: 5 September 2013



Childhood injury is the second leading cause of death for infants aged 1–5 years in the United Kingdom (UK) and most unintentional injuries occur in the home. We explored mothers’ knowledge and awareness of child injury prevention and sought to discover mothers’ views about the best method of designing interventions to deliver appropriate child safety messages to prevent injury in the home.


Qualitative study based on 21 semi-structured interviews with prospective mothers and mothers of young children. Mothers were selected according to neighbourhood deprivation status.


There was no difference in awareness of safety devices according to mothers’ deprivation status. Social networks were important in raising awareness and adherence to child safety advice. Mothers who were recent migrants had not always encountered safety messages or safety equipment commonly used in the UK. Mothers’ recommended that safety information should be basic and concise, and include both written and pictorial information and case studies focus on proactive preventive messages. Messages should be delivered both by mass media and suitably trained individuals and be timed to coincide with pregnancy and repeated at age appropriate stages of child development.


The findings suggest that timely childhood injury-related risk messages should be delivered during pregnancy and in line with developmental milestones of the child, through a range of sources including social networks, mass media, face-to-face advice from health professionals and other suitably trained mothers. In addition information on the safe use of home appliances around children and use of child safety equipment should be targeted specifically at those who have recently migrated to the United Kingdom.

Childhood injury; Prevention; Message delivery; Neighbourhood deprivation; Migration; Health professional