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Car seat distribution & education programs

Health Factors: Community Safety
Decision Makers: Local Government State Government Healthcare Professionals & Advocates Nonprofit Leaders
Evidence Rating: Scientifically Supported
Population Reach: 1-9% of WI's population
Impact on Disparities: Likely to decrease disparities

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Description

Car seat distribution programs provide parents with car seats (i.e., infant, convertible, and booster seats) free of charge, via loan, or low cost rental (CG-Motor vehicle injury). These programs often include efforts to teach parents how to correctly install and use car seats (Zaza 2001). Programs are generally targeted to low income parents of infants and young children and can be implemented through hospitals, clinics, insurance companies, community organizations, and home visitation.

Expected Beneficial Outcomes

Increased use of car seats

Evidence of Effectiveness

There is strong evidence that car seat distribution and education programs increase car seat use (CG-Motor vehicle injury, Cochrane-Ehiri 2006, Towner 2001) and correct use of car seats (CG-Motor vehicle injury, Towner 2001).

Distribution of free booster seats combined with education has also been shown to increase the use of booster seats among children 4 to 8 years old (Cochrane-Ehiri 2006). Car seat distribution programs are effective for rural, urban, and suburban populations and for low and high income populations (Zaza 2001). Such programs also appear to increase car seat use in tribal communities (Billie 2016).

Implementation

United States

Federal funding for car seat distribution and education programs was authorized under the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU). The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration funds states through the Highway Safety Grant to assist car seat distribution (NHTSA-HSG, US DOT-Child safety seat).

Several states also provide free or low cost car seats to low income families through their state department of health. The Ohio Buckles Buckeyes program and the Safe Riders distribution and education program in Texas, for example, provide free car seats to eligible low income families; families are required to attend an educational class on proper use and installation before they receive seats (ODH-OBB, TDSHS-CSS). The child safety seat distribution program in South Dakota (SDDSS-Child safety seat), and the car seat loan program in Pennsylvania (TIPP-Car seat loan) are other examples. California offers various free distribution, low cost purchase, and loan programs by county (CAOTS-Car seats).

Wisconsin

The Wisconsin Child Passenger Safety program provides a car seat voucher to low income families with education about transportation safety (WI DOT 2017). The Injury Free Coalition for Kids of Milwaukee’s free car seat distribution and car seat loan is an example of a hospital-based local program (IFCKM-Program).

Citations - Description

CG-Motor vehicle injury - The Guide to Community Preventive Services (The Community Guide). Motor vehicle injury prevention. Accessed on December 7, 2018
Zaza 2001 - Zaza S, Sleet DA, Thompson RS, Sosin DM, Bolen JC, Task Force on Community Preventive Services. Reviews of evidence regarding interventions to increase use of child safety seats. American Journal of Preventive Medicine. 2001;21(4 Suppl):31–47. Accessed on July 18, 2018

Citations - Evidence

Billie 2016* - Billie H, Crump CE, Letourneau RJ, West BA. Child safety and booster seat use in five tribal communities, 2010-2014. Journal of Safety Research. 2016;59:113-117. Accessed on July 18, 2018
CG-Motor vehicle injury - The Guide to Community Preventive Services (The Community Guide). Motor vehicle injury prevention. Accessed on December 7, 2018
Cochrane-Ehiri 2006* - Ehiri JE, Ejere HOD, Magnussen L, et al. Interventions for promoting booster seat use in four to eight year olds travelling in motor vehicles. Cochrane Database Systematic Reviews. 2006;(1):CD004334. Accessed on July 18, 2018
Towner 2001 - Towner E, Dowswell T, Mackereth C, Jarvis S. What works in preventing unintentional injuries in children and young adolescents: An updated systematic review. London, UK: Health Development Agency; 2001. Accessed on July 18, 2018
Zaza 2001 - Zaza S, Sleet DA, Thompson RS, Sosin DM, Bolen JC, Task Force on Community Preventive Services. Reviews of evidence regarding interventions to increase use of child safety seats. American Journal of Preventive Medicine. 2001;21(4 Suppl):31–47. Accessed on July 18, 2018

Citations - Implementation

CAOTS-Car seats - California Office of Traffic Safety (CAOTS). Who's got car seats? Directory. Accessed on July 18, 2018
IFCKM-Program - Injury Free Coalition for Kids of Milwaukee (IFCKM). Programs. Accessed on July 18, 2018
NHTSA-HSG - National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Highway Safety Grant funding guidance (HSG). Accessed on July 18, 2018
ODH-OBB - Ohio Department of Health (ODH). Child passenger safety: The Ohio Buckles Buckeyes (OBB) program. Accessed on July 18, 2018
SAFETEA-LU - US Department of Transportation (US DOT), Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users legislation and programs (SAFETEA-LU). Accessed on October 3, 2018
SDDSS-Child safety seat - South Dakota Department of Social Services (SDDSS). Child safety seat distribution program. Accessed on July 18, 2018
TDSHS-CSS - Texas Department of State Health Services (TDSHS). Safe Riders child safety seat distribution and education programs (CSS). Accessed on July 18, 2018
TIPP-Car seat loan - Traffic Injury Prevention Project (TIPP). Car seat loan programs. Accessed on July 18, 2018
US DOT-Child safety seat - US Department of Transportation (US DOT). Child passenger safety laws, child safety seat distribution programs, education and enhanced enforcement. Accessed on July 18, 2018
WI DOT 2017 - Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WI DOT). State of Wisconsin federal fiscal year 2017 annual report. 2017. Accessed on July 18, 2018

Page Last Updated

July 16, 2018

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