Home-based injury prevention practices used by mothers of Mexican descent living in San Antonio, TX

Martina R. Gallagher, Elizabeth Reifsnider, Sara Gill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Purpose: To describe the home-based injury prevention practices used by low-income mothers of Mexican descent with their preschool children. Design and sample: A descriptive qualitative study with convenience sampling of mothers (n=9) who are of Mexican descent and have preschool children. Method: Data collection consisted of ethnographic interviews supplemented by focused home observations. Results: 2 themes emerged from the data: the spectrum of physical proximity and the use of injury prevention technology. The spectrum of physical proximity reflected the degree of physical closeness (i.e., supervising children, watching children closely, and being after children) that the mothers used to manage injury risk in their children. Children who were perceived as curious or restless, or too young were judged by the mothers as being prone to injury and requiring more maternal physical closeness. The participants used the injury prevention technology recommended by the experts despite their limited economic resources. However, this group of mothers used the spectrum of physical proximity as the main tool to prevent child injuries in their home. Conclusion: These findings provide an insight into the attitudes and behaviors of low-income, Mexican mothers toward injury prevention in the home. Awareness of these attitudes and behaviors will allow for the creation of interventions that take into account this maternal perspective.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)114-123
Number of pages10
JournalPublic Health Nursing
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2009


  • Children
  • Injury
  • Latino
  • Maternal
  • Prevention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • General Nursing


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