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Housing quality associated with children's burn injury risk
Date:11/12/2012

with all safety-checklist items. Data collectors also located and tested smoke alarms and the temperature of the hot water.

Ninety-nine percent of the homes in the sample failed the housing quality assessment, with the most common safety violation being problems with the walls, ceilings and floors. For every increase of 1 in the number of housing quality items passed, the odds of having a working smoke alarm increased by 10 percent; the odds of having one on every level in the home increased by 18 percent, and the odds of having safe hot water temperatures increased by 8 percent. Almost one in five homes in the study didn't have a working smoke alarm, and more than one in three had unsafe hot water temperatures.

Over one-third (37%) home fire deaths occur in homes without smoke alarms. Experts recommend that alarms be installed on every floor of the home, including the basement, and near all sleeping rooms. To prevent scald burns, water heater thermostats should be set to deliver water at a temperature no higher than 120 degrees Fahrenheit.

The study does not address why families in poor quality housing would be less likely to have working smoke alarms and safe hot water temperatures, but Gielen suggests there's likely a constellation of factors associated with being able to implement safety behaviors and home modifications, including access to resources and information.

"The complexity of the relationship between housing quality and safety behaviors underscores the need for stronger collaboration between housing, health care, and injury prevention professionals," concluded Gielen. "By maximizing the policy opportunities available to improve home safety, we can reduce injuries and save lives."


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Contact: Tim Parsons
tmparson@jhsph.edu
410-955-6878
Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

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