Journal of Community Health

, 34:547 | Cite as

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

  • Suzanne N. BrixeyEmail author
  • Clare E. Guse
Original Paper


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.


Injury prevention Booster seat Car seat Medical education 



The authors would like to thank the Healthier Wisconsin Partnership Program, a component of the Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin endowment at the Medical College of Wisconsin and the MCW Department of Pediatrics for funding this research with Dr. Suzanne Brixey as the Principal Investigator; the Milwaukee Urban League and Safe Kids Southeast Wisconsin for their essential community partnership; the MCW Injury Research Center for statistical and evaluation support; as well as the Downtown Health Center, numerous other community sites across Milwaukee and the physicians and parents who allowed this research to take place. Chris McLaughlin provided editorial assistance. Conflict of interest: There are no known conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Pediatrics, General Pediatrics, Injury Research Center, Downtown Health Center Pediatric ClinicMedical College of WisconsinMilwaukeeUSA
  2. 2.Department of Family and Community Medicine, Injury Research CenterMedical College of WisconsinMilwaukeeUSA

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