Aim: The study was to explore and describe caregivers’ safety practices regarding unintentional poisoning in preschool children in the Elias Motsoaledi Sub-district, Limpopo Province.
Background: Unintentional poisoning remains a global concern and is one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality amongst preschool children. Although in the literature review, some authors show a decline of poisoning in different countries, the emergency and paediatric departments still admits children with poisonings from different agents.
In response to increasing admissions of preschool children with poisoning in the paediatric department, this study was conducted to explore and describe caregivers’ safety practices regarding unintentional poisoning amongst preschool children in the Elias Motsoaledi Sub-district, Limpopo Province. The researcher had no prior information concerning safety practices of caregivers in Elias Motsoaledi Sub-district.
Methods: The methodology utilised was a qualitative approach to explore and describe safety practices concerning unintentional poisoning within the local context. The target population were caregivers with preschool children residing in the Elias Motsoaledi sub-district in Limpopo province. Purposive sampling was use to select 57 caregivers with preschool children who received their healthcare services in four Primary Health Care clinics. Data collections was through conducting eight (8) focus group interviews, each comprising of five (5) to twelve (12) participants. Data was analyse using qualitative content analysis. Findings: Three themes emerged that were 1) Indoor safety practices, 2) Outdoor safety practices 3) and Consinderation of child’s developmental skills. These showed that caregivers’ safety practices concerning unintentional poisoning remains a challenge. There seemed to be a limited awareness of environmental safety harzards, limited knowledge of best indoor and outdoor safety habits and supervision of preschoolers at home to prevent unintentional poisoning.
Conclusion: The recommendations made were in the form of health information and education (pamphlets, posters, workshop and radio broadcasts) of good indoor and outdoor safety practices to prevent unintentional poisoning in preschool children shared with the community and stake holders. In addition the findings of the research will be used to inform the reviewing of local prevention of childhood emergencies guidelines and further research into factors which influence unintentional poisoning. In conclusion the sharing of health information and education regarding the safe indoor outdoor practices with caregivers may improve their knowledge and therefore prevent unintentional poisoning in preschool children.
Dissertation (MCur)--University of Pretoria, 2018.