January 1990

Evaluation of an Infant Car Seat Program in a Low-Income Community

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Community Health, The Montreal (Canada) General Hospital (Dr Robitaille and Ms Legault); the Department of Biostatistics, School of Hygiene and Public Health, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Md (Dr Abbey); and Community Paediatric Research Program, Montreal Children's Hospital (Dr Pless).

Am J Dis Child. 1990;144(1):74-78. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1990.02150250084038

• This study was designed to assess the influence of an infant car seat loan program on car seat utilization in a low-income community. An adjacent community, with no car seat program, was chosen for comparison. Systematic observations were made in the two neighborhoods, and this information was supplemented by telephone interviews. Greater use of infant seats was observed in the intervention community (41%) than in the control community (27%) for infants younger than 6 months old. The rate of observed utilization of infants between 7 and 18 months of age increased to 50% on average, but no significant differences were noted between the two communities. These findings suggest that a communitybased loan program can produce short-term increases in car seat use rates for infants, even in a low-income community. A strategy to facilitate continued accessibility to such restraints is needed, however, to maintain these improvements.

(AJDC. 1990;144:74-78)