Improving Awareness and Use of Booster Seats in Head Start Families

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends the use of booster seats for children who have outgrown their forward-facing child safety seats, but are too small to use the vehicle’s safety belts. This article reports on a study undertaken to measure appropriate restraint use in a population of children (3-5 years old) from low-income families enrolled in Head Start programs. The study also investigated the knowledge level of Head Start providers, parents, and students about booster seats and directly observed booster seat use before and after a combined educational program and booster seat giveaway. The study included 43 students, with 33 receiving booster seats and 5 receiving forward-facing car seats, depending on the weight and age of the child. Before the study, 15 (35%) of the children had weight/age appropriate child safety seats; after the giveaway, this number increased to 42 (98%). The proportion of children observed using booster seats before the giveaway was 6%, which increased to 34% after the giveaway. The authors conclude that a booster seat giveaway can be successful in increasing the number of children who use booster seats; however, the majority (66%) of participating children still rode inappropriately restrained after the giveaway. The authors stress that steps beyond merely providing booster seats, such as combining this intervention with ongoing parent and community education efforts, as well as legislation and enforcement, are needed to bring booster seat use to a high level.

  • Authors:
    • Pierce, Sarah E
    • Mundt, Marlon P
    • Peterson, Nan M
    • Katcher, Murray L
  • Publication Date: 2005


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: pp 46-51
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01003930
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Sep 8 2005 6:51AM