UBC Faculty Research and Publications

An evaluation of evidence-based paediatric injury prevention policies across Canada Macpherson, Alison K.; Brussoni, Mariana; Fuselli, Pamela; Middaugh-Bonney, Tara; Piedt, Shannon; Pike, Ian

Abstract

Background: Policies to reduce injury among Canadians can be controversial and there is variability in the enactment of injury prevention laws across the country. In general, laws are most effective when they are based on good research evidence, supported by widespread public awareness and education, and maintained by consistent enforcement strategies. The purpose of this study was to document and compare key informants’ perceptions of the quality, awareness, and enforcement of three evidence-based paediatric injury prevention policies (bicycle helmet legislation, child booster seat legislation, graduated driver licensing) among Canadian provinces and territories. Results: Thirty-eight key informants responded to the bicycle helmet survey, with 73 and 35 key informants for the booster seat and graduated driver licensing surveys, respectively. Respondent’s perceptions of the policies varied substantially. Key informants indicated that residents are not always aware of legislation, and legislation is not consistently enforced. These results suggest that child health policy is not always guided by evidence. Conclusions: There was variation between evidence and the policies related to paediatric injury prevention among Canadian provinces and territories. Experts generally rate their policies more highly when they align with evidence and best practice. There is room for improvement and harmonization of injury prevention policies.

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