Electrical fires in residential homes, French fall prevention messaging, window safety

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April 25, 2019



Window safety


Between 2010 and 2016, in BC, there were 247 hospitalizations among children aged 0-14 years that included falls from windows or balconies.1 Dr. Ian Pike was interviewed in April on the topic of preventing children from falling from windows. 


CBC News

CBC On the Coast (radio)

Terrace Standard—Black Press


1 Discharge Abstract Database, Ministry of Health.


Electrical fires in residential homes: Report


Homeowners often convert their basements into secondary suites to meet the growing demand for more affordable housing options. These homeowners often ignore the permission and inspection requirements for these conversions in order to save on costs, resulting in suites that go uninspected or do not meet safety standards.


Safety inspectors need to know which areas of the home to prioritize during inspections. BCIRPU and the City of Surrey Fire Department conducted a study to aid inspectors by determining whether certain jurisdiction types, living spaces, or equipment in the home carry higher risks for electrical fires and should be inspected with higher priority.


Read the full report.



Proposal submitted for children’s learning play lab


UBC and SFU researchers have recently submitted a proposal for an innovative facility that will explore how children engage in unstructured and risky play and learning. The living lab, named the Centre for Interactive Research on Children’s Learning Environments (CIRCLE), would be the first of its kind in the world. BCIRPU’s Dr. Mariana Brussoni and SFU’s Prof. Susan Herrington are co-leads, with Drs. Ian Pike and Shelina Babul as project collaborators.


CIRCLE Living Lab will use audio, visual, and sensory data collection tools as well as tracking and biofeedback monitoring devices to study children’s mental, physical, and emotional and social health. The research proposal includes faculty from Applied Science, Arts, Education, Medicine, and Psychology and will leverage connections with international experts. The data will help answer questions that have not yet been possible to address, such as how experiences in risky play influence the development of children’s risk management skills. 


UBC has committed to the capital development of the project, which would be located on its Vancouver campus. The next step is review by the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) grant reviewers, expected in 2021. 


Image: SHAPE Architecture and D’Arcy Hutton



Revised CATT for Coaches


The Concussion Awareness Training Tool (CATT) for Coaches has been revised with new recommendations from the 2017 Consensus Statement on Concussion in Sport and other evidence-based resources. Originally launched in 2014, CATT for Coaches is an e-learning module aimed at supporting coaches and sports officials in recognizing and responding to possible concussions, as well as resources detailing how to manage an athlete’s return to sport.


The first new recommendation is that is it not necessary for athletes to have prolonged rest until all symptoms have resolved in order to return to sport. Another main recommendation is that baseline testing is not necessary for post-injury care of concussion.


The course is free-of-charge and available in English and French. Learn more at cattonline.com.




Francophone fall prevention materials


BCIRPU received funding from the Francophone Affairs Program to distribute fall prevention messages to French-speaking older adults and their caregivers in BC.


Posters, website pages, and social media posts and paid ads were translated into French. The multi-platform campaign saw great success in many areas, all supplemented by excellent engagement and participation from the health authorities. French Facebook ads reached 4,065 people and generated 28,689 impressions. From December 1, 2018 to March 28, 2019, French pages on findingbalancebc.ca received 178 total pageviews; and there were a total of 2,655 visits to findingbalancebc.ca. 1,933 (72.8%) of those visits came from British Columbia.


Survey respondents asked to evaluate the English and French campaigns found the information around preventing falls through physical activity most helpful, and the majority found it helpful to have fall prevention information provided in French. findingbalancebc.ca now offers French resource pages for seniors and healthcare practitioners, and French posters are available for download. 




New data visualizations available


Interactive data visualization tools are now available to accompany our Injury Data Online Tool (iDOT).


View the visualization on mortality data
View the visualization on injury-related hospitalizations



Recent publications


Ball Dj, Brussoni M, Gill TR, Harbottle H, Spiegal B. Avoiding a dystopian future for children’s play. International Journal of Play. 2019 Apr 4; 8(1):3-10. LINK 


Karbakhsh M, Beaulieu E, Smith J, Zheng A, Turcotte K, Pike I. Public attitudes towards the preventability of transport and non-transport related injuries: Can a social marketing campaign make a difference? Prev Med Rep. 2019 Jan 2;13:179-182. doi: 10.1016/j.pmedr.2018.12.010. LINK 




Webinar Series


On Thursday, May 16, Dr. Paul van Donkelaar and Ms. Karen Mason will provide a discussion on traumatic brain injury in intimate partner violence.


Join us at 10:00 AM PST.





Safe Kids Week 2019


This year, Safe Kids Week takes place June 3-9 and will focus on ways to prevent children from being injured at home and at play due to falls. Families will be encouraged to use Parachute Canada’s #FallProofYourHome Checklist to recognize hazards in the home.


Parachute has also created a Community Toolkit containing all the resources and tools needed for interested communities across Canada to roll out a successful Parachute Safe Kids Week. Toolkits can be ordered, or free resources can be downloaded, from Parachute's website.




BRAINx Conference


BCIRPU team members will be presenting at BrainTrust Canada's annual BRAINx conference, taking place June 6 in Kelowna. Dr. Shelina Babul will present on concussions, and Ms. Jennifer Smith will be discussing Preventable in TED-style format.


Learn more about the event.




Poison Prevention Week 2019


March 17-23, 2019 marked Parachute Canada’s National Poison Prevention Week, aimed at building awareness of the causes of unintentional poisoning and ways to prevent and reduce poisoning-related events. This year's campaign focused on cannabis poisoning. 


Children are particularly at risk for poisoning, which are often the result of the consumption of substances such as cannabis products (oils, edibles), prescribed and over-the-counter medications, and household cleaners (detergent pods, bleach).


BCIRPU participated in a social media campaign using the hashtags #PotCanPoisonKids and #NPPW2019. To learn more about poison prevention, visit Parachute Canada.




CPHA Outdoor Play Toolkit


Unstructured play in children is integral to healthy development; however, children’s access to this type of play is becoming more and more limited. The Canadian Public Health Association (CPHA) launched a project to reduce this trend by providing a toolkit of resources, such as infographics, promoting practices, research summaries, decision making tools, and discussion documents.


Explore the toolkit here.




Media highlights


Why experts say schools shouldn't shy away from a little physicality during recess

Mariana Brussoni, CBC News, Feb 27.


Speaker at Okanagan College questions if children are too safe

Mariana Brussoni, Vernon Observer, Mar 7.


Distracted driving (1:20:50)
Ian Pike, CBC Early Edition, Mar 21.


New medication card aims to reduce accidental drug poisoning among seniors

Ian Pike, CBC News, Apr 6.


Province seeks public input on trampoline park safety amid rising injuries

Ian Pike, CBC News, Apr 10.


Rough play zones in Québec (0:14:18)
Mariana Brussoni, CBC Maritime Noon, April 16.




CHIRPP database


CHIRPP is a self-reporting injury surveillance system run by the Public Health Agency of Canada. Through the collection of data from patients/parents in the Emergency Department, CHIRPP provides a current picture of injury occurrence and helps establish priorities for research and intervention. BC Children's Hospital data is accessible from CHIRPP Coordinator Atousa Zargaran.



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BC Injury Research & Prevention Unit
F508 - 4480 Oak Street
Vancouver, BC  V6H 3V4



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