BUCKLE UP SAFELY FOR INDIGENOUS CHILDREN: Development and evaluation of a preschool based education program to increase correct use of appropriate child restraints.
Aims: Road traffic injuries are the leading cause of death and serious injury in Australian children and Indigenous children are at greater risk than non-Indigenous children. This study will develop and evaluate a multifaceted program aimed at increasing the correct use of appropriate child restraints amongst Indigenous families in the Shoalhaven region of NSW.
Methods; Three preschools in the Shoalhaven region of NSW with a large proportion of Indigenous children will participate. A qualitative study to explore the barriers and facilitating factors around restraint use will inform the development of a multifaceted program appropriate for an Indigenous setting. The program will consist of: a preschool based staff workshop; an interactive parent information session; access to restraint fitters and advice around restraint use, and a subsidised restraint program. Restraint use will be assessed by trained researchers after the education program. A Steering Committee has been established to facilitate close consultation with the local Indigenous community and to advise on all elements of the study.
Analysis: Feedback will be sought on the acceptability of the program. The primary analysis will be the comparison of the rate of correct use of appropriate child restraints before the intervention to after the intervention. Results will also be compared with the parallel National Health and Medical Research Council funded Buckle up safely cluster randomised controlled trial.
Conclusion: There is no known research in Australia that focuses on interventions to increase the correct use of appropriate child restraints by Indigenous families. The program has the potential for use on a wider scale to increase the use of child restraints and ultimately reduce the burden of child motor vehicle injuries amongst the Australian Indigenous population.