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Trauma Center Counseling Reduces Kids' Repeat Injuries
Date:7/12/2008

Emergency department 'teachable moments' remembered well by parents, youngsters, study finds

FRIDAY, July 11 (HealthDay News) -- Pediatric trauma centers and emergency departments are good places to teach children how to curb risky behavior and reduce the threat of injury, according to researchers at the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children's Hospital.

"We know that children who are admitted to a trauma center for treatment of an injury tend to be more likely to engage in high-risk behavior. So, when we have them in our care, it provides us with an opportunity, or a 'teachable moment,' to provide an intervention to counter risky behavior that could result in injury," study author Dr. Peter F. Ehrlich, director of the Pediatric Trauma Center at C.S. Mott, said in a university news release.

He and his colleagues studied the effectiveness of such interventions for bicycle and car safety risk-related behaviors in children admitted to two pediatric trauma centers. The interventions were led by trained therapists and were conducted after the children received medical treatment. The interventions included separate conversations with the child and parent/guardian about car and bicycle safety practices, negative consequences of continued risk-taking behavior, and recommendations to improve their adherence to car and bike safety regulations. The families also received written materials.

Three months after the intervention, 97 percent of families were able to recall information about how seat belts save lives and the importance of placing children in the back seat of the car and having them wear helmets while bicycling.

In addition, 79 percent of families said they found the information provided during the intervention to be helpful, 53 percent said they learned something from the intervention, and 75 percent said the trauma center or emergency department was a good place to learn more about car and bicycle sa
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