Introduction: Unintentional home injury is an important cause of death and disability among children, especially those living in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). This systematic review aimed to synthesize evidence about the effectiveness of environmental interventions to prevent unintentional child injury and/or reduce injury hazards in the home in LMICs. Methods: Seven electronic databases were searched for randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and controlled before and after (CBA) studies published up to 1 April 2018. Potentially eligible citations were screened by title and abstract and full texts of studies obtained. Synthesis was reported narratively, and where possible, meta-analysis was conducted. Results: Four studies met the inclusion criteria: One CBA study reported changes in injury incidence, and three RCTs reported changes in frequency of home hazards. In one study, child resistant containers were found effective in reducing the incidence of paraffin ingestion by 47% during and by 50% postintervention. A meta-analysis of two trials found that home inspection, safety education and safety devices reduced postintervention mean scores for poisoning hazards [mean difference (MD) −0.77; 95% CI [−1.36, −0.19]] and burn-related unsafe practices (MD −0.37; 95% CI [−0.66, −0.09]) but not for falls or electrical and paraffin burn hazards. A single trial found that home inspection and safety education reduced the postintervention mean scores for fall hazards (MD −0.5; 95% CI [−0.66, −0.33]) but not for ingestion hazards. Conclusion: There is limited evidence that environmental change interventions reduce child injuries but evidence that they reduce some home hazards. More evidence is needed to determine if altering the physical home environment by removing potential hazards reduces injuries in LMICs.
Bhatta, S., Mytton, J., & Deave, T. (2020). Environmental change interventions to prevent unintentional home injuries among children in low- and middle-income countries: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Child: Care, Health and Development, 46(5), 537-551. https://doi.org/10.1111/cch.12772