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Acad Emerg Med. 2003 Oct;10(10):1131-3.

Usefulness of computerized pediatric motor vehicle safety discharge instructions.

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  • 1Injury Prevention Center at Rhode Island Hospital, Providence, RI 02903, USA.



To determine whether providing child motor vehicle safety recommendations on computerized discharge instructions (CDIs) were useful to parents and modified their use of child-restraint devices (CRDs).


The subjects were guardians of children seen in an urban pediatric emergency department (ED). An intervention group was given computerized ED discharge instructions that included the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommendations for motor vehicle CRDs. A control group was given CDIs without the recommendations. All subjects were subsequently called within four days of the ED visit and asked questions about their knowledge and use of CRDs. They also were queried if the recommendations affected their knowledge or changed their behavior.


There were 52 subjects in the control group and 58 in the intervention group. Fifty-seven percent of the intervention group remembered reading a safety tip (p < 0.001, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.32 to 0.62), and 82% of that subset correctly identified it pertaining to motor vehicle safety. Forty-five percent (n = 33) of those who remembered the safety recommendation in the intervention group supported it being educational (p = 0.067, 95% CI = 0.28 to 0.64). Ten percent of the subjects in the intervention group said the CDIs changed their behavior regarding buckling-up their child, compared with 0% of the control group (p = 0.473, 95% CI = 0.05 to 0.32).


Including CRD information on CDIs is a convenient method of educating guardians of patients about motor vehicle safety in a pediatric ED setting. The data suggest that parents find it educational and a smaller subgroup change their behaviors after receiving them.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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