Systematic review and meta-analysis of behavioral interventions to improve child pedestrian safety

J Pediatr Psychol. 2014 Sep;39(8):826-45. doi: 10.1093/jpepsy/jsu024. Epub 2014 May 26.


Objective: Pedestrian injuries represent a pediatric public health challenge. This systematic review/meta-analysis evaluated behavioral interventions to teach children pedestrian safety.

Methods: Multiple strategies derived eligible manuscripts (published before April 1, 2013, randomized design, evaluated behavioral child pedestrian safety interventions). Screening 1,951 abstracts yielded 125 full-text retrievals. 25 were retained for data extraction, and 6 were later omitted due to insufficient data. In all, 19 articles reporting 25 studies were included. Risk of bias and quality of evidence were assessed.

Results: Behavioral interventions generally improve children's pedestrian safety, both immediately after training and at follow-up several months later. Quality of the evidence was low to moderate. Available evidence suggested interventions targeting dash-out prevention, crossing at parked cars, and selecting safe routes across intersections were effective. Individualized/small-group training for children was the most effective training strategy based on available evidence.

Conclusions: Behaviorally based interventions improve children's pedestrian safety. Efforts should continue to develop creative, cost-efficient, and effective interventions.

Keywords: accidents and injuries; evidence-based practice; meta-analysis; prevention/control; public health; systematic review.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Traffic / prevention & control*
  • Behavior Therapy / methods*
  • Child
  • Humans
  • Pedestrians*
  • Safety*