Objective: Motor vehicle crashes injuries, the leading cause of death for Latino children in the United States, can be reduced by the correct use of child safety seats. This study evaluated the ability of a community health worker education program to improve proper child safety seat usage in urban low income Latino families.
Methods: At a series of check events, proper child safety seat usage in families who had received an education intervention was compared with similar families who had not. The education intervention, provided by Latino community health workers trained as child passenger safety technicians, used videos and an office demonstrator. Members of the target community initiated the study and participated in its subsequent design and implementation.
Results: The families that participated in the study were primarily Mexican with low income, education, and acculturation levels. Forty six rear facing and 44 forward facing child safety seats were checked. Families exposed to the intervention were more likely to have their child’s seat within the manufacturer’s recommended weight/height range, their child facing the correct direction, the harness straps positioned properly, to have not been in a crash, the harness straps snug, the harness retainer clip used correctly, the seat belt routed correctly, and the seat belt locked.
Conclusions: Exposure to an educational intervention provided by community health workers trained as child passenger safety technicians was associated with child safety seats being used more properly than seats of families not exposed to the intervention in an urban low income Latino community.
- CHW, community health worker
- CPST, child passenger safety technician
- CSB, Centro San Bonifacio
- NHTSA, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
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Competing interests: none.
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