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Health Educ Q. 1989 Spring;16(1):45-56.

A hospital-based infant safety seat program for low-income families: assessment of population needs and provider practices.

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Center for Health Promotion Research and Development, University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston 77225.


Evaluation of a hospital-based car safety seat education and loan program for low-income families included hospital interviews with new mothers (N = 94), a survey of pediatricians (N = 28), and a task analysis of the program coordinator's time. Mothers who entered the hospital with safety seats were more likely than those without safety seats to (1) be White or Mexican-American than Black; (2) not be dependent on public transportation; (3) have an older child who always rides in a car seat; and (4) wear seat belts themselves. Mothers with seats did not differ from mothers without seats in knowledge or beliefs about the importance of, or intent to use, car seats. Of mothers without seats, 86.3% were aware of the hospital's car seat rental program, but only 12 of 51 rented a seat from the program. 61% of pediatricians surveyed believed that mothers' lack knowledge and skills to acquire and use car seats regularly, but only 31% always included education about the importance of using car seats and only 21% always referred mothers without seats to the rental program. Car seat loan programs addressing low-income populations should place greater emphasis on education of medical providers to provide education and referrals, encourage organizational policy that requires a safe first ride home and address issues of social support and perceived norms and ease of acquisition.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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