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Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)

Stamp in Safety: Preventing Injuries on Preschool Playgrounds

Project Period: 09/01/2011 – 08/31/2012
Application/Grant Number: 1R43CE001981-01A1
Principal Investigator: MARQUEZ, BRION
IRIS Media, Inc.
258 E. 10th Ave.
Eugene, OR 97401


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Approximately 223,000 emergency room visits a year are attributable to child playground injury. To address this significant public health problem, this project aims to develop and evaluate a multimedia, user friendly, Internet-based behavior modification program to improve child safety on childcare center playgrounds. This program, Stamp-in-Safety, is designed to lower the number of playground injuries by reducing child risk-taking and improving adult supervision on playgrounds at childcare centers and preschools. Briefly, the Stamp-in-Safety program involves adult supervisors offering an appealing ink-stamp to children who are demonstrating safe behavior on the playground. As well as rewarding children for this desired behavior, the program accomplishes a second, equally important objective: it encourages adult supervisors to develop the habits of watching children carefully, engaging with children on the playground, and ultimately noticing and intervening to prevent risky behaviors. In consultation with expert panelists, we will develop Stamp-in-Safety, an interactive, user-friendly, Internet-based training program for staff members at childcare centers. The functionality and usability of the Stamp-in-Safety program will be evaluated according to a three-step process. First, we will conduct internal and then external reviews of the content of the program. Second, preschool playground supervisors will review the material and provide feedback concerning the appeal, usability, and functionality of the program. Third, we will conduct a small study using a quasi-experimental pre-post design to evaluate the program with 50 preschool employees. This study will address the following research questions: (1) Does the Stamp-in-Safety training via remote and unmediated (i.e., online) delivery provides sufficient promise of efficacy to warrant full development? (2) Were supervisors satisfactorily able to access and complete the training? (3) Did the program achieve a sufficiently high degree of user acceptance so as to contribute to program adoption and (4) Were supervisors able to implement the program as described in Stamp-in-Safety training materials? The 50 employees will implement the program at their centers and will complete pre- and post-intervention surveys addressing knowledge (about the program and supervision principles), perceptions (about the program, child playground safety, and adult supervision of children), and beliefs (about the efficacy, usability, and functionality of the Stamp-in-Safety program). Engagement in and acceptance of the program will be assessed post-intervention by gathering website usage data (e.g., time spent on website, number of exercises completed) from participants. Finally, supervisors will self-report several behaviors on a daily checklist to evaluate the fidelity of intervention delivery.