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Household chemicals and pre-schoolers: Caretakers’ beliefs and perspectives on risks and responsibilities


Bearth, Angela; Bosshart, Noah; Wermelinger, Stephanie; Daum, Moritz; Siegrist, Michael (2022). Household chemicals and pre-schoolers: Caretakers’ beliefs and perspectives on risks and responsibilities. Safety Science, 154:105864.

Abstract

Chemical products are present in most households and can endanger the health of humans, particularly toddlers and pre-school children. With a focus on accident prevention, this article investigates parents and other caretakers’ beliefs and perspectives on risks and responsibilities. A mixed method approach was applied, combining in-depth qualitative interviews (pre-study, N = 10) and a quantitative survey (main study, N = 688) with Swiss caretakers of pre-school children. The questionnaire of the main study was developed based on the findings from the pre-study, and measured beliefs, perceptions of product, environmental risks, and responsibilities. The main findings suggest some prevalent misconceptions among parents regarding the risks of products perceived to be natural and the safety of child-protective caps. Furthermore, relationships were uncovered between psychological factors, such as perceived responsibility, trust and risk perception, and caretakers’ beliefs about household chemicals and their role in accident prevention. These beliefs highlight the need for preventive efforts focused on caretakers exhibiting pragmatic/trusting beliefs, compared to caretakers exhibiting protective or educational beliefs.

Abstract

Chemical products are present in most households and can endanger the health of humans, particularly toddlers and pre-school children. With a focus on accident prevention, this article investigates parents and other caretakers’ beliefs and perspectives on risks and responsibilities. A mixed method approach was applied, combining in-depth qualitative interviews (pre-study, N = 10) and a quantitative survey (main study, N = 688) with Swiss caretakers of pre-school children. The questionnaire of the main study was developed based on the findings from the pre-study, and measured beliefs, perceptions of product, environmental risks, and responsibilities. The main findings suggest some prevalent misconceptions among parents regarding the risks of products perceived to be natural and the safety of child-protective caps. Furthermore, relationships were uncovered between psychological factors, such as perceived responsibility, trust and risk perception, and caretakers’ beliefs about household chemicals and their role in accident prevention. These beliefs highlight the need for preventive efforts focused on caretakers exhibiting pragmatic/trusting beliefs, compared to caretakers exhibiting protective or educational beliefs.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
06 Faculty of Arts > Jacobs Center for Productive Youth Development
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Scopus Subject Areas:Physical Sciences > Building and Construction
Physical Sciences > Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
Social Sciences & Humanities > Safety Research
Health Sciences > Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
Uncontrolled Keywords:Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health, Safety Research, Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality, Building and Construction
Language:English
Date:1 October 2022
Deposited On:08 Feb 2023 13:13
Last Modified:28 Apr 2024 01:43
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0925-7535
OA Status:Hybrid
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ssci.2022.105864
  • Content: Published Version
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)