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Home injury risks to young children in Karachi, Pakistan: a pilot study
  1. Uzma Rahim Khan1,
  2. Aruna Chandran2,
  3. Nukhba Zia1,2,
  4. Cheng-Ming Huang2,
  5. Sarah Stewart De Ramirez2,
  6. Asher Feroze1,
  7. Adnan Ali Hyder2,
  8. Junaid Abdul Razzak1,3
  1. 1Department of Emergency Medicine, Aga Khan University, Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan
  2. 2International Injury Research Unit (IIRU), Department of International Health, Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
  3. 3Aman Healthcare Services, Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan
  1. Correspondence to Dr Uzma Rahim Khan, Department of Emergency Medicine, The Aga Khan University, Stadium Road, P.O. Box 74800, Karachi, Sindh 75600, Pakistan; uzma.khan{at}aku.edu

Abstract

Objective To pilot an in-home unintentional injury hazard assessment tool and to quantify potential injury risks for young children in a low-income urban setting.

Methods Two low-income neighbourhoods in Karachi, Pakistan, were mapped, and families with at least one child between the ages of 12 and 59 months were identified. Using existing available home injury risk information, an in-home injury risk assessment tool was drafted and tailored to the local setting. Home injury assessments were done in June–July 2010 after obtaining informed consent.

Results Approximately 75.4% of mothers were educated through at least grade 12. The main risks identified were stoves within the reach of the child (n=279, 55.5%), presence of open buckets in the bathroom (n=240, 47.7%) within the reach of the child, and pedestal fans accessible to the child (n=242, 48.1%). In terms of safety equipment, a first-aid box with any basic item was present in 70% of households, but only 4.8% of households had a fire extinguisher in the kitchen.

Conclusions This was the first time that an in-home, all-unintentional injury risk assessment tool was tailored and applied in the context of a low-income community in Pakistan. There was a significant burden of hazards present in the homes in these communities, representing an important opportunity for injury prevention. This pilot may have future relevance to other LMICs where child injury prevention is a critical need.

  • Accident & Emergency
  • Injury Prevention

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