Child injury in Victoria: effects of Covid-19, lockdown and parents working from home

Locked down child

Covid-19 and the associated periods of lockdown in the state of Victoria have had a profound effect on the way we work, learn, and play. Many parents of young children worked from home during lockdown periods, and after re-opening in Victoria, many continue to work from home in greater capacity than pre-Covid. This is likely to have influenced how young children are supervised in the home, but little is known about the effects of lockdown and ongoing working from home arrangements on supervision practices and child injury in the home.

The aim of this PhD project is to better understand how working from home affects supervision of young children. A better understanding of these post-Covid transitions will help to inform child injury prevention policy and practice in Victoria.

The research will encompass three phases, namely:

(1) Systematic review of the published literature on child home injury related to Covid-19

2a) Analysis of Ambulance Victoria and coroners’ data to compare Victorian lockdown and post-Covid periods with pre-Covid control periods, to determine changes in rates and risk factors of child home injuries and child injury deaths

(2b) Victorian emergency department data analysis to determine the nature of child injury in the home since Covid-19, using the free text (narrative) to extract available information on the setting in which the injury occurred, specifically with reference to parental supervision

(3) Based on the findings of phases 1 and 2, design and implement an online survey for parents of young children in Victoria to explore working from home and concurrent child supervision arrangements

The thesis would be supervised by Associate Professor Janneke Gisolf-Berecki, Associate Professor Sjaan Koppel and Melanie Courtney (Kidsafe Victoria).

Learn more about our Victorian Injury Surveillance Unit