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Child Safety Seat Policies And Practices: A Survey Of U.S. Trauma Centers
August Becker1, Cameron Bass2, Benjamin Kasper3, *Denise Lillvis3
1Niagara University, Lewiston, NY;2University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY;3John R. Oishei Children's Hospital, Buffalo, NY

Background: While hospital approaches to child safety seats at newborn discharge have been well-described, less is known about discharge of infants and children. The purpose of this study is to examine staff knowledge and different hospital approaches to safe discharge pertaining to child safety seats for infants and children, including the resources, programs, and policies in place.Methods: We disseminated a survey to members of the Pediatric Trauma Society (PTS) in the Spring of 2022. Eligibility criteria consisted of the following: 18 or older; work in the U.S.; and hold one of the following positions: injury prevention coordinator, trauma center director, or trauma program manager. Our institutionís IRB approved this study and the PTS Research Committee reviewed and endorsed it prior to dissemination.Findings: Fifty-two participants consented to and completed the survey, the majority of whom identified as an injury prevention coordinator (63.5%) and represented state-designated, Level 1 Pediatric Trauma Centers (72.7%). Roughly one-third (32.7%) reported that their hospital has current policies in place to verify whether all discharged pediatric patients have child safety seats. Newborn discharge was the most common circumstance for conducting child safety seat verifications (81.8%), where discharge following a motor vehicle collision was next (60.6%). Most respondents (84.6%) indicated that they provide at least some child safety seats free of charge and 73.8% have a Child Passenger Safety Technician trained in Safe Travel for All Children.Conclusions: Not all trauma centers are providing child safety seat education and verifications where indicated, such as after a motor vehicle collision where the seat could be damaged. One study limitation is that respondents may be more likely to represent transplant centers that have child safety seat programs and policies in place than non-respondents, meaning that our results could be biased in a positive direction.


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