A multifaceted program to increase the appropriate use and decrease the misuse of child restraints.
A multifaceted program to increase the appropriate use and decrease the misuse of child restraints. Authors: Hunter K1,2, Keay L1,2, Brown J3, Bilston L3, Feegan M4, Cosgrove L4, Simpson JM2, Elliott M5, Ivers R1,2. Author and Author Affiliations: 1. The George Institute for Global Health; 2. School of Public Health, The University of Sydney 3. Neuroscience Research Australia; University of New South Wales 4. Kids and Traffic, the NSW Early Childhood Road Safety Education Program, Macquarie University 5. NSW Roads and Traffic Authority Abstract: While the safety benefits of child restraints are well documented, the correct use of appropriate restraints is low in children aged 3-5 years. A systematic review has shown that interventions targeting either parents or service providers using education, distribution, enforcement and / or incentives are promising. However, robust, prospective studies are needed to determine the effectiveness of such interventions. We developed the Buckle-Up Safely program and evaluated this in a cluster randomized controlled trial involving 27 early childhood services in low socio-economic areas of West and South West Sydney in 2010. After randomisation, a total of 830 families with children attending 13 preschools and long day care centres received the program. The Buckle-Up Safely program is a multifaceted education based program targeting: centre staff, children, families and management. The program built on existing services and included: a workshop and follow on programming support for centre staff developed and conducted by the Kids and Traffic team; policy support for centres to further develop their safe arrival and departure and excursion policies; family information sessions; distribution of a Buckle-Up Safely bag containing a DVD with key restraint messages and access to various translated information sheets; free restraint checks at local fitting stations and access to subsidised restraints. A total of 12 staff workshops and 16 family sessions were conducted; 143 subsidised restraints were sold; 195 restraint checks completed and over 800 bags distributed to families. This paper describes the Buckle-Up Safely program in detail and addresses the program's uptake and acceptability.