The Future of Child Passenger Safety
*Randy S Chhabra
Austin-Travis County EMS, Austin, TX
Background (issue): Motor vehicle crashes remain one of the top preventable causes of injury and death for children across many age groups. Child restraint systems have evolved significantly over the past decade yet the misuse of car seats remains unchanged. The approach to Child Passenger Safety (CPS) and collection of data has also remained unchanged.
Methods: The use of a digital CPS platform was used to collect data. This platform was used to create focused community programming. This methodology allows for detailed and immediate analysis of CPS data. It allows for analysis of behavior and knowledge through linking of pre, post and follow-up surveys. It also allows for geographical comparison to understand possible regional differences.
Findings: 80% of the families within our community (Central Texas) misuse their child restraint device. Analysis shows that the highest misused areas are among the four most important areas: harness (42%), lower anchors (51%), seat belt (58%) and top tether (64%). Prior to engaging our programming, only 22% of families state they are confident they can install their car seat without assistance. After participating in our CPS programming, 80% of families stated they were confident they could install their car seat without assistance. After 12 months, families reported the same confidence levels. 98% of families reporting they have uninstalled their car seat were able to get it reinstalled.
Conclusions (implications for practice): To properly address CPS we must change our approach from education and resource distribution to case management. This includes the methodology we collect data and interact with families within our community.
Back to 2017 Program and Abstracts