A consideration of severity is sufficient to focus our prevention efforts

Cryer, Colin and Langley, John (2012) A consideration of severity is sufficient to focus our prevention efforts. Injury Prevention, 18. pp. 73-74. ISSN 1353-8047

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Molcho and Pickett1 suggest that it is unrealistic and counterproductive to try and prevent all childhood injury. We agree, welcome this contribution and support the intent of their article to facilitate debate and discussion around the issue.

We agree with their view that the dominant paradigm in injury control is that all childhood injuries, irrespective of their origins, are unacceptable. We would argue this paradigm extends to all age groups. Taken to its extreme, this position does not, however, stand up to scrutiny. Are the proponents seriously suggesting we seek to prevent even the mildest of injuries? For example, a child tripping over and sustaining a barely visible abrasion to her arm but nevertheless is crying as a result. We believe most parents would probably briefly console the child and once the crying had abated encourage them to continue playing and then completely forget about the incident.

There clearly are unstated thresholds that guide which injuries we should pay attention to, which vary depending on circumstances. Nevertheless, it is likely that many in the injury control field are challenged by the idea that, for example, some medically treated sports injuries may be acceptable if the benefits are seen significantly to outweigh the costs.

In this commentary we critically appraise the criteria proposed by Molcho and Pickett1 to classify the occurrence of childhood injuries into acceptable or non-acceptable.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: Brighton and Sussex Medical School > Primary Care and Public Health
Subjects: R Medicine
Depositing User: Jessica Stockdale
Date Deposited: 16 Aug 2012 08:50
Last Modified: 16 Aug 2012 08:50
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/40389
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