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October 1974

Factors Associated With Child Use of Automobile Restraining Devices: Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practice

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Pediatrics, School of Medicine; and the Division of Population, Family and International Health, School of Public Health, University of California, Los Angeles.

Am J Dis Child. 1974;128(4):469-474. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1974.02110290039007

One hundred ninety-eight child-parent pairs were studied for knowledge, attitude, and practice factors associated with the use of automobile restraining devices in children attending a pediatric clinic. A child use index was cross-tabulated with other variables. Children most likely to be using appropriate restraining devices were over 6 months old and had US-born, white, married parents who had at least completed high school, who themselves used seat belts, and who indicated a belief in their ability to control what happens to them in life. No associations were found between use and parent's knowledge about age-appropriate methods of child restraint, or the families' accident history. The parents held many false beliefs about the use of seat belts. Pediatricians might improve parents' behavior in properly restraining their children by incorporating automobile safety information and counseling as part of the well-child visit.

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