, Volume 34, Issue 6, pp 547-552
Date: 28 Aug 2009

Knowledge and Behaviors of Physicians and Caregivers About Appropriate Child Passenger Restraint Use

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Abstract

The object of this research was to ascertain caregivers’ and physicians’ knowledge, behaviors, and comfort levels regarding child passenger safety restraint transitions with belt positioning booster seats (BPB). A targeted survey of physicians caring for 4–8 year olds plus convenience sampling surveys of caregivers across an urban community was conducted. Data revealed 42% of physicians and 47% of caregivers did not know that motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death in children in this age group. Only 34% of caregivers consistently placed children in booster seats; 48% reported receiving physician information about proper restraint; 67% reported wanting to learn about proper restraint; and 36% wanted such information from physicians. Caregivers who recalled physician questions about restraints were three times more likely than others to use booster seats correctly. 70% of physicians reported asking about child restraint in vehicles in this age group. However, only 48% were very comfortable with knowing when to recommend booster seats, 43% reported having received no training in child passenger safety, and only 37% knew where to refer caregivers for more information. Physicians need more information about appropriate child passenger safety restraints as children grow and ways to deliver and reinforce the message so that it is retained to improve community health. Caregivers indicate willingness to learn, but providers miss many opportunities to teach.