INVESTIGATIVE REPORT ON FAMILIY ISSUE 10 Essay Example

  • Category:
    Nursing
  • Document type:
    Research Paper
  • Level:
    Undergraduate
  • Page:
    3
  • Words:
    1940

Topic: Injury

Lecturer’s name

13th August 2011

Table of Contents page

  1. Purpose……………………………………………………………………………2

  2. Introduction………………………………………………………………………2-3

  3. Definition of terms………………………………………………………………4

  4. Background………………………………………………………………………4

  5. Discussion………………………………………………………………………..5-6

  6. Recommendations………………………………………………………………6-7

  7. Conclusion……………………………………………………………………….7

  8. References………………………………………………………………………8

1.0 Purpose

Positive outcomes and high returns are the expected outcomes of investing in the health of the children in Australia. Such positive outcomes and high returns are also expected to affect the society, the government and the families in a significant way. It is thus a compelling case to invest in the health, wellbeing and development of children in Australia. Studies from other countries reveal that undertaking programs that focus on the development and health of the children resulted into greater benefits which cannot be compared to the costs incurred in undertaking such programs.

The purpose of this report is to explore a key health issue that has been identified from the document Healthy Children-Strengthening Promotion and Prevention across Australia: Developing a National Public Action Plan for Children 2005-2008 (Child & Youth Health Intergovernmental Partnership, 2004). The specific purpose is to identify and examine this key health issue and highlight its contributing factors, the impact on the family and offer recommendations for nursing practice.

2.0 Introduction

One of the key health issues identified in the above named document is the issue of injuries among the Australia children and particularly the children from the Torres Strait Islander and the Aboriginal communities which experience high children mortality rates from injuries (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2007). This health issue affects children aged 5-12 years which comprises of the preschoolers or the school going children from these communities. Among the contributing factors resulting into high incidences of injuries and subsequently high mortality rates among the children in these communities in Australia include challenges and stresses faced by the Torres Strait Islander and the aboriginal communities in Australia (Bayreuther, Wagener, Woodford et al., 2009).

This includes socio-economic challenges such as lack of employment among the parents, exposure to different types of hazards in the surrounding environment, inability to access affordable health services, geographical isolation, social structural changes and displacement. Additionally, continuous violence in the family is also another contributing factor that results into injuries among the children in the Torres Strait Islander and the Aboriginal communities in Australia.

Injuries have serious effects on the families such as increased costs of attending to the injured children which strain the resources of the families, consuming much of the time of the parents because parents have to use their time caring for the injured children instead of seeking for employment and it affects the economic status of the families due to decreased family earning because parents spent time caring for the injured children instead of working. Injuries also affect the emotional stability of the members of the family especially when such injuries are severe.

Some of the recommendations for nursing practice aimed at reducing injuries and improving health status of children in Australia include empowering the children, parents, communities and families on the need to supervise children and avoid any situations that might cause injuries to the children, improve the skills and knowledge of the key workers on the diverse aspects of injuries that face the children in Australia communities, transform health environments and systems among in the communities by making health services accessible to all the communities in Australia,

3.0 Definition of terms

Injury- A term used to describe both the physical and the emotional harm that occur in the body of the child.

Preschoolers or school age children- Children between the ages of 5 to 12 years

Torres and Aboriginal Strait Islanders- Communities in Australia that live in the remote parts of the country.

Environmental hazards- Risky situations or harmful substances in the environment that might cause injury to the children.

4.0 Background

According to theNational Public Health Strategic Framework for Children 2005-2008, the experiences of children today impacts on their wellbeing, education, health, social potentials and work later in life. It is therefore important to promote positive development and good health of the children today in order to enable them to be useful and effective people later in life. Injuries are some of the key health issues that affect proper and positive development of children that affects their potential later in life (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2007).

According to the Australia Bureau of Statistics (2006) injuries caused by assaults, drowning in wells and rivers and accidents accounted for 41% of children deaths between 2003 to 2008 among the children aged 1-12 years. In another report dammed Health of Children in Australia released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics the common injuries experienced by children include stinging (13%) or being bitten (13%), hitting a sharp or a blunt object (14%) and falling from a high or a low height (43%) (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2006). From these reports injury caused 68% of children deaths in 2003-2006 and 41% of deaths among the children in Australia in 2006 or deaths of 1250 children in 2006 (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2006- 2007). This makes injury a key health issue that must be tackled to prevent any further increases in deaths among the Australian children.

5.0 Discussion

Socio-economic challenges such as un-employment among the parents in Australia contributes to the increased rates of injuries among the children in that parents are forced to make long distances and for many days from one geographical area to the other looking for employment thus leaving their children unsupervised or in the hands of another children to care for them (Clapperton, Cassell & Wallace, 2006). Lack of parental supervision on the children exposes the children to numerous severe injuries such as falling from high places, injuries caused by sharp objects like knives, swallowing sharp objects which injure the internal organs of the children (to mention few).

Exposure to environmental hazards includes exposure to factors such as deep wells and uncovered pit latrines where children fall and beak their body parts. In addition, poorly disposed medicines which are swallowed by the children also cause painful stomach-ache which is also another type of injury experienced by Australian children (Clapperton, Cassell & Wallace, 2006). Inability to access affordable health services due to remote locations of the Torres and the Aboriginal communities is another contributing factor towards the increased rates of injuries among the children in these communities.

When children experience slight injuries which can be attended to and treated without much complications or pain lack of affordable health services results into the use of crude methods used by the parents to treat their children (Clapperton, Cassell & Wallace, 2006). Such crude methods utilize unsterilized equipments such as razor blades, needles and knives which increase the infection rate of the affected areas.

Children end up with painful wounds which cause more pain and injuries to the child’s body. Continuous violence in the family between the parents is also another cited cause of injuries among the children not only in the Torres and the Aboriginal Strait Islanders but also among the general population in Australia (Cryer & Langley, 2006). Family violence is caused by inability of the families to meet their daily needs resulting to greater levels of stress and strife between the parents. In the urban and civilised segment of the population in Australia family violence is caused by disagreements between the parents.

Children in such families suffer both physical and emotional injuries when sharp or blunt flying objects thrown by the fighting parents fall on the head, face or the body of the child (Cryer & Langley, 2006). Furthermore, children suffer emotional injuries particularly when the parents turn and haul abuses on them. In this regard, family violence is another major contributing cause of injuries among the Australia children.

From the above discussion, it is evident that injuries are a major health issue among the preschooler or school age children in Australia. Injuries have serious effects on the families such as increased costs of attending to the injured children which strain the resources of the families (National Centre for Injury Prevention and Control, 2009).This is because a significant portion of the family income is directed towards buying medicine and seeking treatment for the injured children. Injuries affect the economic status of families because much is spent on the injured children than working resulting into a significant decrease in the incomes of the families. Due to strained resources and economic fallback of the families, families experience physical and emotional stress which gives birth to violence in the families.

6.0 Recommendations

As seen above injuries among the children are a significant health issue in many communities in Australia. Hence, a proper framework must be established to deal with the problem of injury among the children in Australia in order to improve the wellbeing and health of preschooler or school age children in Australia (United Nations, 2006). The first recommendation is that promotion of wellbeing and health among the children should be enhanced through appropriate health promotion mechanisms such as strengthening the capacity of communities, families and parents.

This would ensure that the communities, families and parents understand the risks and effects associated with different injuries when children are exposed to such injuries. The second recommendation is that key resources should be mobilised in order to make health services accessible to the populations particularly those in remote parts of the country where children can get proper care after experiencing slight or minor injuries (United Nations, 2006). The third recommendation is to track progress and build-evidence for practice, programs and policies aimed at enhancing the safety of the children in order to avoid both physical and emotional injuries.

7.0 Conclusion

Investing in the health of the children is one of the most significant approaches of ensuring that Australia has a healthy population now and in the future. Experiences has shown that investing in the health of the children results into positive results comprising of reduced costs of health, a healthy workforce, stable families and functional societies able to engage in productive activities. One of the key health concerns or issues addressed in this report is the issue of injury. Reports indicate that between 2003 to 2006 injuries accounted for 68% of children deaths in Australia which make injuries a significant health issue in the country. Among the major recommendations towards alleviating the injury problem include increasing the capacity of communities, families and parents, mobilising resources and tracking progress and building-evidence for practice, programs and policies aimed at enhancing the safety of the children in the country.

8.0 References

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (2007). National Hospital Morbidity Database,www.aihw.gov.au

Australian Bureau of Statistics (2006). National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey, 2004-05, cat. no. 4715.0, ABS, Canberra.

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (2007). Rural, Regional and Remote Health: A study on mortality,
Rural Health Series No.2, AIHW, Canberra.

Australian Bureau of Statistics. (2006- 2007). Children’s injuries. From http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/[email protected]/Previousproducts/1301.0Feature%20Article152006?opendocument&tabname=Summary&prodno=1301.0&issue=2006&num=&view

Bayreuther J, Wagener S, Woodford M, et al. (2009). Paediatric trauma: injury pattern and mortality in the UK. Arch Dis Child Educ Pract Ed; 94:37–41.

Child & Youth Health Intergovernmental Partnership, (2004). Healthy Children- Strengthening Promotion and Prevention across Australia: Developing a National Public Action Plan for Children 2005- 2008.

Clapperton, A, Cassell, E & Wallace, A (2006). ‘Injury to children aged 5-15 years at school’,Hazard, edition no. 53, pp.1-16.

Cryer C & Langley J. (2006). Developing valid indicators of injury incidence for “all injury”. Inj Prev; 12:202–7.


National Centre for Injury Prevention and Control. (2009).Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System. http://webappa.cdc.gov/sasweb/ncipc/leadcaus10.html (accessed 6 Sep 2009)

United Nations (2006). Children’s Fund, A League Table of Child Deaths by Injury in Rich Nations
, Innocent Report Card, Issue no.2, UNICEF Innocent Research Centre, Florence.