Child Passenger safety practices in the U.S. Disparities in light of updated recommendations

Michelle L. Macy*, Gary L. Freed

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Children are best protected in motor vehicle collisions when properly using the appropriate restraint and sitting in a rear row. Racial and ethnic disparities have been reported in injury statistics and use of any restraint; however, predictors of safety seat use, being unrestrained, and sitting in the front seat have not been explored previously. Purpose: To determine factors associated with child passenger safety practices by race/ethnicity in a national sample of child passengers aged <13 years. Methods: Secondary analysis conducted in 2011 of the 2007, 2008, and 2009 National Survey of the Use of Booster Seats in which child passenger restraint use was observed directly. Age-stratified, survey-weighted chi-square and logistic regression analyses were conducted. Results: Restraint use was observed for 21,476 children aged <13 years. A decline in child safety seat use and increase in being unrestrained were observed with increasing child age. In multivariate analyses, race/ethnicity, unrestrained drivers, and sitting in the front seat were associated with lower odds of child safety seat use among children aged <8 years. Older child age was associated with sitting in the front seat and being unrestrained. The presence of multiple child passengers was associated with lower odds of sitting in the front but higher odds of being unrestrained. Conclusions: Few children use the recommended child passenger restraints. Understanding the reasons for the suboptimal child passenger restraint practices identified in this study is essential for the development of effective programs to reduce or eliminate preventable motor vehicle collision-related injuries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)272-281
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Preventive Medicine
Volume43
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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