Reviewing Injury Logs: [A Learning Activity]

In Head Start programs reviewing injury patterns yields information that is central to preventing injuries. Program managers can use this learning activity with staff to prevent and improve their understand of safety issues.

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

For This Activity You Will Need
Coach Preparation Note
Points to Consider
Handout: Reviewing Injury Logs

Purpose: This activity helps participants to review patterns of injuries to identify ways to improve injury prevention in the program. The activity is most helpful for management staff, health and education coordinators, and teachers. It can be done in conjunction with Health Services Advisory Committee members or a health consultant.

For this activity you will need:

Coach Preparation Note:
This activity can only be done if the program has kept injury logs or incident reports.

Before the session, copy Handout: Reviewing Injury Logs [PDF, 9.39KB]onto flip chart paper.

Step 1: Give each participant a blank piece of paper. Tell them to write on it: "Injury patterns that I have noticed..." Ask them to jot down a few brief notes about any patterns of injuries that they might have noticed or might be concerned about in their program.

Step 2: Distribute to participants the program's Injury Logs and Handout: Reviewing Injury Logs [PDF, 9.39KB]. Explain that the handout is a guide to use when reviewing the Injury Logs.

They might observe that injury patterns fall into some of the categories listed in the handout (i.e., child, age, classroom, time of day, location of injury, type of injury, equipment, treatment).

Have participants take approximately one hour to review the Injury Logs.

Complete the first two columns of the handout:

  • Under the column "Injury Patterns," write down any patterns of injuries that are common. Enter the injury patterns in the appropriate category: child, age, classroom, time of day, location of injury, type of injury, equipment, treatment. Use only the categories that apply—there does not need to be an entry for every category.
  • Under the column "Documentation," write down the evidence for each pattern of injury, for example, how many times it has happened per week or month.

Leave the right-hand columns, "Recommendations" and "Who's Responsible/When," blank for now.

Step 3: Bring participants together for a 40- to 60-minute discussion of the patterns of injuries that they observed. Have participants compare the notes they jotted down on the blank paper with their notes on the handout. Ask participants:

  • In taking the time to review the Injury Logs and analyzing them according to these categories, did any injury patterns become apparent to you that you had not noticed before?

Step 4: Post the flip chart paper copy of the handout. Ask participants:

  • What patterns of injuries did you observe in the Injury Logs? (e.g., three-year-old children have been getting a lot of sand in their eyes during sandbox play). List these in the column "Injury Patterns" under the appropriate category. (i.e., in the row "Type of Injury" list "sand in eyes.")
  • What is your evidence that this is a pattern of injury? (e.g., It happened 6-12 times per month.) List these in the column, "Documentation," under the appropriate category. (i.e., in the row "Type of Injury," next to "sand in eyes" write "6-12 per month.")

Step 5: Explain that it is important to identify which injury patterns are of greatest concern and focus prevention efforts on these first. Ask participants:

  • What are some features by which we can compare the level of concern around each of the injury patterns (e.g., severity of injuries, frequency of injuries, preventability of injuries)?
  • Among the patterns of injuries, which are of greatest concern? Circle them.

Step 6: For each of the most important injury patterns, ask participants:

  • What are some strategies for preventing the injuries? (Consider modifications of the facilities, equipment, rules and procedures, education, supervision, enforcement, and advocacy.) List these under the "Recommendations" column.
  • For each recommendation, who should be responsible for implementing it, and when should that be done? List these under the column, "Who's Responsible/When."

Step 7: Ask participants:

  • What do you see as the value of reviewing Injury Logs?
  • How often do you think that it should be done?

Step 8: Make plans to follow-up on the recommendations with the person responsible for implementing them, according to the agreed timeline. Do a repeat review of the Injury Logs after three months to chart the program's progress toward preventing injuries.

Points to Consider:

  • It is important to document and periodically review Injury Reports so you can identify patterns of injuries that are of concern and develop strategies to prevent future injuries.
  • A computer database for Injury Logs can be useful. Sorting the Injury Logs by factors (e.g., by child, age, classroom, time of day, type of injury, location of injury, equipment, and treatment) and printing out on a spread sheet can help to identify patterns of injuries and the needs for prevention measures.

See also:
     Handout J: Reviewing Injury Logs [PDF, 9.39KB]

"Reviewing Injury Logs: [A Learning Activity]." Safety First: Preventing & Managing Childhood Injuries. Training Guides for the Head Start Learning Community. HHS/ACF/OHS/NCH. 1998. English.

Last Reviewed: April 2009

Last Updated: February 24, 2015