Prevention of childhood unintentional injuries in low- and middle-income countries: A systematic review


Injuries are a leading cause of death and disability among children. Numerous injury prevention strategies have been successful in high-income countries, but the majority of unintentional injuries happen to children living in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). This project aims to delineate the childhood injury prevention initiatives in LMICs. For inclusion, peer-reviewed articles needed to address unintentional injury, include children <18, assess a prevention-related intervention, contain a control group, and be published after 1988. Two pairs of reviewers evaluated articles independently to determine study eligibility. 74 articles were included. 30 studies addressed road traffic injuries, 11 drowning, 8 burns, 3 falls, 8 poisonings, and 21 an unspecified injury type. The findings show positive effects on injury outcome measures following educational interventions, the need for longer follow-up periods after the intervention, the need for effectiveness trials for behavior change, and the need for an increase in injury prevention services in LMICs. This is the first systematic review to summarize the prevention initiatives for all types of childhood unintentional injuries in LMICs. Increased attention and funding are required to go beyond educational initiatives with self-reported measures and little follow-up time to robust interventions that will reduce the global burden of unintentional injuries among children.