Purpose Michigan mirrors the rest of the United States in motor vehicle deaths being the leading killer of children 1 through 14 years of age.
Methods Car seat checks (CSC) are commonly held throughout the United States, but how do we know if those checks are making a difference to the safety of children. To assess if the education provided increased parents/caregivers understanding regarding child passenger safety, in January, 2009 we started administering knowledge based pre and post-tests at CSCs to all parents/caregivers receiving education.
In 2009, 251 parents completed tests at a CSC. The pretest was composed of 22 questions; seven personal information and 15 questions based on general child passenger safety guidelines. Three separate unique post-tests were used indentifying the type of child restraint needed for each child; rear facing, forward facing and booster seats, each comprised of five questions. The family completed the post-test(s) that correspond with the seats checked/distributed, so one or all three tests may have been used.
Results The pretest average score was 61%. The post-test average score was 83%. Showing an overall increase in knowledge of 36%. Some of the areas of greatest increase include; safest seating location in vehicles had an increase of 57%, length of time for a child to be rear facing increased by 52% and proper usage of backless booster seats increased 184%. The increase in post test score is statistically significant using a CI of 95% we obtained z-score of 5.21.
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