Car seat inspection among children older than 3 years: Using data to drive practice in child passenger safety

Amber M. Kroeker*, Amy J. Teddy, Michelle Lea Macy

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of unintentional death and disability among children 4 years to 12 years of age in the United States. Despite the high risk of injury from motor vehicle crashes in this age group, parental awareness and child passenger safety programs in particular may lack focus on this age group. METHODS: This is a retrospective cross-sectional analysis of child passenger safety seat checklist forms from two Safe Kids coalitions in Michigan (2013) toidentify restraint type upon arrival to car seat inspections. Other variables were included if the coalition provided a new child safety seat and if the child hada sibling who underwenta car seat inspection. W2 statistics were used to compare change in restraint use on 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 the 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 4 years and older were foundto be in a suboptimal 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 Booster Age Child.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S48-S54
JournalJournal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery
Volume79
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2015

Keywords

  • Child passenger safety
  • Program evaluation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine

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