ARSRPE Conference Paper Database

Results and implications of a survey of child restraint use in South Australia

Anderson, R W G (Peer reviewed)



A survey has been conducted of child restraint use (infant capsules, child safety seats and booster seats) in motor vehicles in the Adelaide metropolitan area. Driver knowledge concerning child restraint use was also studied. A random sample of 31 pre-schools and primary schools was selected. Researchers visited sites on mornings in August 2004, and surveyed 357 drivers who were transporting children aged 0-10 years. Based on common age recommendations, 82% of children were using an appropriate restraint, but based on the weight of the child (a better metric of correct restraint choice), we estimate that the rate of appropriate restraint selection was between 64% and 72%. The rate of inappropriate restraint selection was due largely to children progressing prematurely to an adult seat belt. Children were rarely unrestrained. We conclude that guidelines on child restraint selection need to be clarified. Higher rates of appropriate restraint use may be achieved by carefully reconsidering the weight ranges for each kind of restraint, specified in the AZealand Standard, so that age may be successfully used to guide restraint choice.