We set out to learn whether, and how, parents of children who were fatally injured want to collaborate with injury prevention professionals. In this exploratory study, interviews were conducted with parents who had been identified through medical examiner files. Only a small minority of those we contacted chose to participate. The six mothers and five fathers who did felt that survivors should be offered such opportunities. They suggested waiting, however, at least a year before approaching parents. Our interviewees endorsed medical examiner's offices, health care providers, and police as legitimate avenues for identifying potential partners. They suggested that contact should first be made by mail. Professionals were encouraged to be sensitive, responsive, and realistic regarding the limits of our science. From a practical perspective, safety experts' contacts and political savvy appealed to respondents. Parents also expressed the need for coaching, and gentle understanding of the pain they live with every day.
- bereaved parents
- injury prevention