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APHA Scientific Session and Event Listing

Childhood injury prevention: Neighborhood playground assessment of two inner-city areas in Indianapolis

Kimberly L. Irwin, MPH student1, Oluremi A. Ayodele, MPH student1, Dawn M. Daniels, DNS, RN2, Lynae E. Granzow, MPH student1, Joan Henkle, DNS, RN3, and Jessica M. McNiel, MPH student1. (1) Department of Public Health, Indiana University, 1050 Wishard Blvd., RG 4188, Indianapolis, IN 46202, 317-278-0337, kiirwin@iupui.edu, (2) Injury Free Coalition for Kids of Indianapolis, Riley Hospital for Children-Clarian Health Partners, 702 Barnhill Drive, Suite 2500, Indianapolis, IN 46202, (3) Department of Public Health, Indiana University School of Medicine, 1050 Wishard Blvd., RG 4171, Indianapolis, IN 46202

Injury is the leading cause of death for children in the United States. The purpose of this research was to complete a comprehensive, environmental assessment of two disadvantaged, Indianapolis neighborhoods to guide future injury prevention efforts. Data gathered for analysis included demographic and socio-economic indicators, hospital emergency department discharges, playground assessments, walkability scores, and key informant interviews. Evaluation of the playground equipment and surrounding areas indicated many safety risk factors. The school playgrounds evaluated yielded average assessment grades lower than those reported statewide (C+ vs. B+), though the parks scored slightly higher than the state average (B vs. C). Lack of age-appropriate design, adult-supervision, and inadequate fall-surfacing were observed on playgrounds, as were walkability risks associated with crossings. Analysis of e-codes showed that nearly one in every twenty neighborhood children sustains an injury requiring emergency care each year. Injuries resulting from pedestrian and cycling activity, falls from playground and other related equipment, and sports activities accounted for nearly 15% of those reviewed. Natural and environmental injury comprised an additional 6%. This data confirmed that males sustain more injuries than females (1.3:1); children four and under are most vulnerable to injury. Children in these neighborhoods are at risk for injury due to factors associated with the physical state of playgrounds and equipment. It is recommended that education programs and environmental changes be designed and implemented to focus on outdoor safety and playground risk factors. Targeting these areas with prevention efforts is of most importance to reduce injury-related morbidity and mortality.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the session, the participant (learner) in this session will be able to

Keywords: Injury Risk, Children

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Not Answered

Unintentional Injuries Poster Session

The 134th Annual Meeting & Exposition (November 4-8, 2006) of APHA