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Car Seat Inspection Among Children Older Than Three: Using Data to Drive Practice in Child Passenger Safety
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Details:
  • Pubmed ID:
    26308122
  • Pubmed Central ID:
    PMC4551077
  • Description:
    Background

    Motor vehicle crashes (MVCs) are a leading cause of unintentional death and disability among children ages 4-12 in the United States. Despite this high risk of injury from MVCs in this age group, parental awareness, and child passenger safety programs in particular may lack focus on this age group.

    Methods

    Retrospective cross-sectional analysis of child passenger safety seat checklist forms from two Safe Kids coalitions in Michigan (2013) to identify restraint type upon arrival to car seat inspections. Other variables included, if the coalition provided a new child safety seat and if the child had a sibling who underwent a car seat inspection. Chi-square statistics were used to compare change in restraint use upon arrival and at departure, the proportion of children attending a car seat inspection event by age, the age category of children by site, the proportion of children with siblings also undergoing a car seat inspection by age, and the distribution of a new child safety seat by age.

    Results

    Data were available from 1,316 Safe Kids Huron Valley and 3,215 Safe Kids Greater Grand Rapids car seat inspections. Just 10.8% of total seats inspected were booster seats. Child safety seats for infant and young children were more commonly inspected [rear-facing carrier (40.3%), rear-facing convertible (10.2%), and forward-facing (19.3%) car seats]. Few children at inspections used a seat belt only (5.4%) or had no restraint (13.8%). Children age 4 and above were found to be in a sub-optimal restraint at least 30% of the time.

    Conclusion

    Low proportions of parents use car seat inspections for children in the booster seat age group. The proportion of children departing the inspection in a more protective restraint increased with increasing age. This highlights an area of weakness in child passenger safety programs and signals an opportunity to strengthen efforts on The Forgotten Child.

    Level of Evidence

    Level III

  • Document Type:
  • Collection(s):
  • Funding:
    K23 HD070913/HD/NICHD NIH HHS/United States
    K23 HD070913/HD/NICHD NIH HHS/United States
    R49CE002099/CE/NCIPC CDC HHS/United States
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