Providing healthy and safe homes and reducing injuries are included in our nation's public health objectives. Access to safety products and knowledge about injury prevention, as well as substandard neighborhood conditions are significant barriers to child safety faced by resource poor communities. This proposal is a revision of one submitted in May, 2006. We seek to prevent injuries in East Baltimore by building on ongoing community work: a) Johns Hopkins CARES (Children ARE Safe) mobile resource center;b) Baltimore City Fire Department neighborhood sweeps;c) Center for Community Health community health worker outreach program;and d) Environmental Justice Board academic-community partnership. We will demonstrate the impact of neighborhood sweeps, the mobile safety center, and community health workers (CHWs) on safety and health. During sweeps, fire inspectors go door-to-door providing free smoke alarms, identifying fire and safety hazards in the home and in the neighborhood, and reporting hazards for remediation. We will enhance these sweeps by working with CHWs and making the CARES mobile safety center available. The center is a 40-foot vehicle with fun, interactive educational exhibits, which will offer families additional low cost safety products. We will compare communities receiving these enhanced sweeps to communities that receive the fire departments standard sweeps. The evaluation design includes surveying randomly selected households in the randomly assigned participating communities before the sweeps begin and after they conclude. We will also enroll cohorts of families at the time of the door-to-door sweeps to collect baseline and follow -up data. We will supplement self-reported data on safety knowledge, beliefs, and behaviors with observations of home and neighborhood fire and safety hazards and data on emergency department visits. We will use qualitative research methods to assess the roles and impacts of the partners on development of the study, implementation of the proposed interventions, and dissemination of results. Results will be widely disseminated by our community partner organizations and through the scholarly literature. Results will contribute new knowledge about reducing health disparities in injury and the utility of community partnerships for promoting home for children and families living in low income, urban environments.

Public Health Relevance

This project involves a community partnership to promote fire and life safety among low income urban families. We will use door to door canvassing by fire department personnel and community health workers along with a mobile safety center. The evaluation will examine the impact of the program on safety knowledge, behaviors, and children's injury risk. We will also identify how best to work with community partners to implement child safety programs.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD)
Research Project (R01)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-HOP-S (52))
Program Officer
Haverkos, Lynne
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Johns Hopkins University
Public Health & Prev Medicine
Schools of Public Health
United States
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