Document Type


Publication Date




Publication Title

BMC Public Health






2086 (1-12)


BACKGROUND: Unintentional injuries to children are a major public health problem. The online social media is a potential way to implement health education for caregivers in online communities. Using WeChat, a free and popular social media service in China, this study evaluated the effectiveness of social online community-based parental health education in preventing unintentional injuries in children aged 0-3.

METHODS: We recruited 365 parents from two community health centers in Shanghai and allocated them into intervention and control groups randomly. Follow-up lasted for one year. The intervention group received and followed their WeChat group and a WeChat official account for dissemination of reliable medical information. The control group received only the WeChat group.

RESULTS: Between the intervention and control groups, changes in unintentional injuries (OR = 1.71, 95% CI: 1.02-2.87, P = .04), preventability (β = 0.344, 95% CI: 0.152-0.537, P < .001), daily supervision behavior (β = 0.503, 95% CI: 0.036-0.970, P = .04), and behaviors for preventing specific injuries (β = 2.198, 95% CI: 1.530-2.865, P < .001) were significantly different, and change in first-aid skills for treating a tracheal foreign body were nearly significant (P = .06).

CONCLUSIONS: The WeChat-group-based parental health education can reduce the occurrence of unintentional child injuries by improving parents' skills, beliefs, and behaviors. Online social communities promote health education and reduce unintentional injuries among children.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: ChiCTR1900020753. Registered on January 17, 2019.


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Data Availability

Article states: Data are available upon reasonable request. Xiaohong Li, the corresponding author, can be contacted.

The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data.

Original Publication Citation

Feng, Y., Ma, X., Zhang, Q., Jiang, R., Lu, J., Chen, K., Wang, H., Xia, Q., Zheng, J., Xia, J., & Li, X. (2022). Effectiveness of WeChat-group-based parental health education in preventing unintentional injuries among children aged 0-3: Randomized controlled trial in Shanghai. BMC Public Health, 22(1), 1-12, Article 2086.