Evaluating the educational component of a hospital-based child passenger safety program

J Trauma. 2009 Jul;67(1 Suppl):S30-3. doi: 10.1097/TA.0b013e3181a93512.


Background: Interventions that combine educational programs and discounted child safety seats have been demonstrated to improve parental child passenger safety knowledge and practices. An educational component consisting of an hour-long bilingual (English/Spanish) class for parents was added to a hospital-based safety seat program. Researchers sought to evaluate participant knowledge retention and safety practices after the class and to identify parental motivators and barriers for correct safety seat use. In particular, researchers were interested in evaluating a child passenger safety program that includes both individualized and group-based educational components in addition to a giveaway seat program, and also serves a subset of Latinos, mostly from the Dominican Republic and the Guatemala, that is less frequently studied.

Methods: A 15-minute telephone survey was conducted in English or Spanish with past participants (n = 79) of the program. Descriptive statistics and odds ratios were generated to determine statistical significance. Qualitative data from open-ended questions were coded and grouped categorically.

Results: The final sample (n = 79) was mostly women (93.7%), Hispanic (78.5%), and foreign-born (77.2%). Six months after participating in the program, there was a statistically significant decrease in parental knowledge regarding appropriate safety seat transitions to booster seats and correct knowledge of the state child safety seat law-with odds ratios of 0.35 (95% CI: 0.13-0.93) and 0.16 (0.04-0.54), respectively. Most commonly reported motivators were safety and fear of police enforcement. Most commonly reported barriers to safety seat use were parents not understanding the importance of safety seats and being in a rush.

Conclusions: Parents surveyed > or =6 months after receiving the child passenger safety program displayed less correct safety seat knowledge compared with parents surveyed <6 months after participating in the program. Parents noted multiple barriers to safety seat use. Programmatic changes that merit future study include (1) sending reminders to parents to refresh safety seat transition knowledge, particularly for older children, and (2) incorporating curriculum components that address the parental motivators and barriers to correct safety seat use in the class.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Health Education / methods*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Health Promotion / methods*
  • Humans
  • Infant Equipment*
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Parents
  • Young Adult