Injuries and Development: [A Learning Activity]

This activity helps staff explore the connection between childhood injuries and child development. Head Start program managers may want to use this activity as a prelude to more in-depth training.

The following is an excerpt from Safety First: Preventing & Managing Childhood Injuries.

Purpose
For This Activity You Will Need
Trainer Preparation Note
Points to Consider
Key to Activity
Injury Triangle

Prevention and Development: [A Learning Activity]

Purpose: This activity helps staff explore the connection between childhood injuries and child development. (This is the first half of an activity that is continued in …Prevention and Development: [A Learning Activity.)

For this activity you will need:

  • Flip chart paper and markers (3)
  • Overhead transparency, projector, and screen (optional)
  • Key to Activity: Injuries and Development-For Trainer Only

Trainer Preparation Note:
Before beginning the activity, prepare overhead transparencies (or a flip chart copy) of:

Step 1: Explain to participants that this activity will explore the connection between childhood injuries and child development.

Step 2: Ask participants: What are the major types of childhood injuries that you see in the Head Start program, at home, and in the community? List these on a flip chart paper (e.g., motor vehicle accidents, falls, burns, poisoning, drowning, choking, bites, family violence, etc.).

Step 3: Ask participants to think about the characteristics at each developmental stage that might place the children at risk for injuries. Have participants complete the following sentences:

  • Infants (birth to one year) are...
    (e.g., almost totally dependent upon adults, not very mobile, changing quickly, exploring the world by putting things in their mouths, etc.)
  • Toddlers (one to three years) are...
    (e.g., exploring their independence, walking, climbing, running, very curious, imitating older children and adults, not understanding dangers, etc.)
  • Preschoolers (three to five years) are...
    (e.g., exploring their independence, vigorous, running fast, climbing high, throwing hard, imitating older children and adults, thinking they can do more than they can, having strong emotions and intense interactions with others, etc.)

Write down and post the responses for each developmental stage on a separate piece of flip chart paper.

Step 4: Divide participants into three groups corresponding to the three developmental stages:

  • Infants
  • Toddlers
  • Preschoolers

Step 5: Give each group a flip chart paper and marker. Have them write their developmental stage (i.e., Infant, Toddler, Preschooler) on the top of the chart. Then, using the major types of childhood injuries listed by the participants, have each group set up a chart with four to eight different types of injuries. Display the overhead transparency of the Key to Activity 2: Injuries and Development as an example.

Step 6: Give the small groups approximately 20 minutes to fill in the "Causes" for each type of injury. For example:

Developmental Stage: Infants

Type of Injury

  • Falls

Causes

  • high chair
  • changing table
  • stairs
  • infant walker

Tell participants to leave the "Prevention" section blank for now-this will be completed in the continuation of this activity in … Prevention and Development: [A Learning Activity.]

Step 7: Return to the large group. Have each small group briefly report on its discussion, proceeding from Infants to Toddlers to Preschoolers.

Step 8: Ask participants: What are some of the risks for injury that are specific to each developmental stage?

Step 9: Display the overhead transparency or flip chart copy of the "Injury Triangle." Explain that this can help to examine in greater detail the factors that lead to injuries. From a scientific perspective, injuries are caused by an unsafe interaction between the child and the cause of the injury (e.g., the peanut that a child chokes on or the fire that burns the child). The cause of the injury can come into contact with and harm the child because of factors in the surrounding physical and social environment (e.g., inadequate adult supervision, an unlocked or open gate around a swimming pool).

Step 10: Ask participants to identify one example of an injury from each developmental stage and explain specific factors related to the child, the cause, and the environment that might lead to this type of injury. For example:

Developmental Stage: Infants

Type of Injury

  • Falls

Causes

  • stairs

Factors that might lead to this injury include:

  • Child: infant who is an early crawler or walker and curious
  • Cause: stairs that are accessible, steep, not carpeted
  • Environment: no gate across stairs, inadequate adult supervision

Step 11: Explain that, while some injury risks are specific to particular developmental stages, other risks are common across all ages.
Ask participants: What factors might place children of all ages at increased risk for injuries:

  • Child factors?
  • Causes of injury?
  • Environmental factors?

Points to Consider:

  • Children have developmental characteristics that place them at risk for specific injuries at specific developmental stages.
  • Certain factors place children of all ages at risk for injuries (see [Understanding Childhood Injuries: Key Concepts,] Background Information, "Common Risk Factors for Injury").

Key to Activity: Injuries and Development - For Trainer Only

Child: _______________ Developmental Stage: _______________

Type of Injury
Causes
Prevention
Bites    
Falls    
Burns    
Poisoning    
Choking    
Drowning    
Motor Vehicle/Pedestrian    
Violence/Child Abuse    

Injury Triangle

The relationship between these three factors is described as the "Injury Triangle:"

A hurt child, his or her environment, and the cause - each on one point of a triangle.


See also:
     Prevention and Development: [A Learning Activity.]

"Injuries and Development: [A Learning Activity]." Safety First: Preventing & Managing Childhood Injuries. Training Guides for the Head Start Learning Community. HHS/ACF/OHS/NCH. 1996. English.

Last Reviewed: September 2010

Last Updated: August 26, 2015