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Predictors of seat-belt use among school-aged children in two low-income Hispanic communities



Predictors of seat-belt use among school-aged children in two low-income Hispanic communities



American Journal of Preventive Medicine 22(2): 113-116



Objectives: To examine the prevalence of seat belt use among school-aged children in low-income Hispanic communities. Methods: We conducted unobtrusive observations of school-aged children (aged 5 to 12 years) traveling to and from nine elementary schools in two communities. We documented vehicle type, and belted status and seating position of children, driver, and other passengers. Results are presented as percentages with 95% confidence intervals (CIs). Results: We observed 3651 children, of which restraint use could be determined for 2741. Overall, 29% of children were using seat belts. By seating location, 58% were in the front seat with 40% belted, and 42% were in the back seat with 14% belted. Children were most likely to be restrained when traveling in the front seat (40.0%, CI=37.6-42.5); traveling with a belted driver (42.4%, CI=40.0-44.8); or traveling without additional passengers (40.3%, CI=37.0-43.7). Conclusions: Seat belt use among children from this study population was below the national average and was alarmingly low among children in the back seat. While traveling, being belted in the back seat provides the most protection in a collision. Prevention efforts need to be based on an understanding of the barriers to restraint use for children traveling in the back seat.

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Accession: 011184111

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 11818181

DOI: 10.1016/s0749-3797(01)00412-3


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