Few children properly restrained in vehicles: study

August 15, 2012

San Diego – The majority of parents do not follow proper child restraint guidelines as their children age, and the problem is greater among certain minority groups, according to a new study (.pdf file) from the American College of Preventive Medicine and the Association for Prevention Teaching and Research.

Researchers analyzed more than three years of child restraint data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s National Survey of the Use of Booster Seats. Among all U.S. children, few are properly restrained in a rear-facing safety seat or booster seat up to the recommended age, the study stated. Black and Hispanic children younger than 3 were, on average, 10 times less likely than white children to be properly restrained. Older Black and Hispanic children also were, on average, 2 times less likely to be properly restrained.

Researchers recommend educational programs specific to the racial and ethnic groups with the largest rates of improper use of child restraints and crash-related injuries.

The study was published in the September issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.