Education and Training
Why Are Education and Training Important?
Literacy plays an important role in educating parents and children about safety. More than 93 million adults in the United States read below basic or at basic literacy levels. Ensuring that child safety materials are easy-to-read and highly pictorial will help low-literacy children and adults understand key safety messages.
Education and training can teach knowledge and skills necessary to influence behaviors, change policies, modify environments, and design products to improve safety for children and adolescents. Education functions as a primary, cross-cutting intervention that has a direct or indirect impact on all other facets of injury prevention. Training is used to improve skills and to apply knowledge to reduce children’s risk for injury and to respond to such injuries when they occur.
Education and training are needed not only for children, but for those who care for or influence children, such as physicians and nurses, teachers, coaches, decision makers, the public, parents, and public safety officials. Early child educators, engineers, journalists, city planners, state and local officials, and home inspectors can benefit by knowing more about child injury, and steps that can be taken to prevent injury. Advanced education and training in child injury prevention principles and strategies will be needed for professionals to apply the most recent evidence-based strategies in their own settings.
Curricula gaps, staff training, and the need for in-service programs are among the challenges to integrating child injury prevention education and training into existing educational systems. In addition, child injury prevention may compete with other existing training and education needs in schools and in professional organizations.
When developing a strategic framework for improving education and training for child injury prevention, each of the different levels of education and training—early child education, primary and secondary school education (both private and public), higher education (undergraduate and graduate), vocational training, and adult education need to be included. The NAP recognizes that high-quality child injury education and training at these levels is fundamental to success.
Education and Training Goals and Actions
Goal: Educate the public about injury risks and effective strategies to prevent child injuries.
Knowledge is a foundation to help prepare and guide parents, caregivers, and institutions to make better choices for children’s health and safety. Formal education can equip the professions and the public with tools to reduce child injuries. In addition to increasing knowledge and skills, child injury education can help caregivers and the public take the necessary steps to create safer environments at home, at play, and while on the road. Education about child injury prevention can serve as a basis for improving safety devices and changing policy and practices in the community.
- Integrate injury prevention education into broader child health promotion efforts such as the Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visitation Programs.
- Educate decision makers (e.g., lawmakers, school administrators, business leaders) about the burden of child injuries, the importance of prevention, its cost savings potential, and public health benefit.
- Strengthen the translation of knowledge into practice by establishing or strengthening collaborations between researchers, people working in injury prevention, and those working directly with children and families.
- Educate textbook and periodical publishers, newspaper editors, and free-lance writers about the importance of child injury prevention and provide them with materials to develop stories and features about child injury prevention.
Goal: Develop and test evidence-based materials, tools, and resources to educate and train target audiences.
Those working in child health and safety need accurate and timely information tailored to their roles in preventing child injury. These audiences include schools, medical practitioners, health and safety workers, students, social workers, law enforcement, and those working with high risk and hard to reach populations; however, not all educational materials are properly tested for impact, or properly evaluated for accuracy.
Because education cannot be the sole strategy for reducing child injury, it can be combined with other approaches, such as better implementation of existing laws, making safety products like booster seats more available, or changes in trauma care for children. Educational approaches can complement and reinforce these others, but only if they are developed and implemented using the best educational theory and practices.
One important target audience is the formal educational system, including preschool, elementary, middle, and high school teachers and the students they influence. Injury prevention can be integrated into many courses and settings, not just health education and safety. Clear knowledge exists about what works to prevent unintentional injuries, but it is often difficult to access the information in one convenient place.
- Develop specific materials for schools of education, public health, medicine, allied medical fields, law enforcement, and others and incorporate them into existing professional training.
- Develop health and safety education curricula and programs for use in preschool, elementary, middle, and high schools (within the framework of a comprehensive school health education program).
- Develop resources to assist concerned citizens, parents, school personnel, health and safety professionals, and others to promote child injury prevention in their communities.
- Develop criteria for national, state, and local report cards on child injuries to focus communities on improving their scores.
- Establish a clearinghouse to catalogue and provide access to accurate educational information and resources for professionals and the public.
- Catalogue all available school and professional curricula related to child injury prevention and create an evaluation framework for assessing quality and accuracy.
Goal: Implement and disseminate child injury education and training programs in allied health professions.
Education and training materials on child injury prevention not only need to be evidence-based, but widely disseminated and used in various learning environments. Opportunities to build-in incentives for taking child injury prevention training and education can be accelerated through continuing education offerings, CEU credits, professional accreditation, and licensing requirements. Expanding opportunities for learning can be further enhanced through partnerships between education and training institutions and by adopting education-assisting information and communication technology.
- Improve coverage of child injury prevention in undergraduate and graduate education and training programs.
- Incorporate child injury prevention information in health, education, and safety professionals training by offering continuing education credits.
- Include child injury prevention into minimum standards for competency for selected credentialing, licensing, and certification in health and safety.
- Provide ongoing education and training for disaster and injury response, including first aid and CPR, for all school and childcare/foster care personnel and students.
- Develop consortia among education, training, and technology services and providers.
Goal: Develop venues for delivering child injury education programs in schools and communities, and among new professionals.
Child injury prevention educational material should occupy a more prominent place in educational curricula and in professional training and practice. Injury prevention can be integrated into many courses and settings and should not be limited to health education and safety promotion. For example, child injury prevention education can take place in adult learning settings, immigrant language training, vocational training, parenting classes, etc.
- Establish child injury prevention internship opportunities at agencies and organizations at the national, state, and local levels.
- Develop training modules on child injury program implementation, evaluation, risk communication, and advocacy.
- Use technology such as the Internet to improve access to child injury prevention training.
- Improve the training of professionals around child injury data collection, and its value for documenting the problem and monitoring child injury trends (e.g., law enforcement, medical examiners, medical practitioners, county and state child death review representatives).
- Provide training that is relevant to child injury in fields such as engineering, architecture, environmental science, and transportation safety.
- Provide education and training in child injury prevention and emergency response to all expectant mothers and their families, pre- and post-term.
Goal: Use community-based organizations to educate the public about strategies for child injury prevention.
Communities can often have a greater impact on health and well-being than providers if there is sufficient community support to establish a “safe community.” Educating businesses, social service agencies, and the health care system on behalf of child safety can serve local needs and increase access to populations with special needs. Child injury prevention can be part of a communities’ service to its citizens as a way of improving and sustaining community well-being.
- Support nonprofit organizations to promote child injury prevention education at local, state, and national levels.
- Integrate prevention education into community health programs that serve new residents, immigrants, and low-income families.
- Integrate child safety education into pediatric visits, well-baby visits, and at post-partum discharge.
- Design and disseminate child safety education materials to educate employees about family safety off-the-job through corporate health and wellness programs.
- Engage community-based organizations, voluntary groups, non-governmental organizations, and merchants in sponsoring injury prevention events and educational campaigns.
Get email updates
To receive email updates about this page, enter your email address:
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC)
4770 Buford Hwy, NE
Atlanta, GA 30341-3717
TTY: (888) 232-6348
- Contact CDC–INFO