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Pediatr Emerg Care. 2020 Jan;36(1):43-49. doi: 10.1097/PEC.0000000000002020.

Parental Knowledge of Appropriate Placement of Child Restraint Systems Before and After Educational Intervention in a Pediatric Emergency Department.

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From the Nemours Children's Hospital, Orlando, FL.
Statistics Department, United Arab Emirates University, Al-Ain, United Arab Emirates.
Carman and Ann Adams Department of Pediatrics, Wayne State University, Children's Hospital of Michigan, Detroit, MI.



This study aimed to determine caregiver's knowledge of appropriate car restraint systems (CRSs) use and compare this with the actual use among children presenting to the pediatric emergency department (PED), and to determine the efficacy of PED-based intervention on improving knowledge.


We conducted a prospective, intervention study of children (<8 years old) during a 12-month period in the PED. Based on their height and weight, children were assigned to group 1 (rear facing), group 2 (forward facing), or group 3 (booster). Caregivers were surveyed in their baseline CRS knowledge. Certified child passenger safety technicians evaluated each CRS and gave caregivers one-on-one education. Participants were called back to answer a posttest to determine if the information given was retained.


Of the 170 children enrolled, 64 (37.6%) were assigned to group 1, 68 (40%) to group 2, and 38 (22.3%) to group 3. Of these, 63% were not aware of the state law regarding CRS use. Among those without a CRS, 18% belonged to group 1, 36% to group 2, and 46% to group 3. Even among those who reportedly had CRS, 13% of children did not have one-on-on inspection. After inspection, 84% of group 1, 71% of group 2, and 70% of group 3 were in the appropriate one. Nearly 45% were not compliant with American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines of children riding in rear-facing CRS until 2 years of age.


A significant proportion of children visiting the PED are not in appropriate CRS, and caretaker knowledge about correct CRS types and installation is poor. Future educational efforts should focus on rear-facing and booster seat age-group children.

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