Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Evaluating a smartphone application to improve child passenger safety and fire safety knowledge and behaviour
  1. Elise Omaki1,
  2. Wendy C Shields1,
  3. Eileen McDonald1,
  4. Mary E Aitken2,
  5. David Bishai1,
  6. James Case1,
  7. Andrea Gielen1
  1. 1Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
  2. 2Department of Pediatrics, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and Arkansas Children's Research Institute, Little Rock, Arkansas, USA
  1. Correspondence to Elise Omaki, Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 624 N. Broadway, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA; eperry{at}


Background Although proven measures for reducing injury due to motor vehicle collision and residential fires exist, the number of families properly and consistently using child passenger restraints and smoke alarms remains low. This paper describes the design of the Safety In Seconds (SIS) 2.0 study, which aims to evaluate the impact of a smartphone app on parents' use of child restraints and smoke alarms.

Methods SIS is a multisite randomised controlled trial. Participants are parents of children aged 4–7 years who are visiting the Pediatric Emergency Department or Pediatric Trauma Service. Parents are randomised to receive tailored education about child passenger safety or about fire safety via the SIS smartphone app. A baseline and two follow-up surveys at 3 months and 6 months are conducted. Primary outcomes are: (1) having the correct child restraint for the child's age and size; (2) restraining the child in the back seat of the car; (3) buckling the child up for every ride; (4) having the restraint inspected by a child passenger safety technician; (5) having a working smoke alarm on every level of the home; (6) having hard-wired or lithium battery smoke alarms; (7) having and (8) practising a fire escape plan.

Discussion Finding ways to communicate with parents about child passenger and fire safety continues to be a research priority. This study will contribute to the evidence about how to promote benefits of proper and consistent child restraint and smoke alarm use.

Trial registration number NCT02345941; Pre-results.

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.


  • This trial is registered at – the URL is It is in the pre-results stage.

  • Funding This work was supported by a grant from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health, Grant No. 1R01HD069221.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Ethics approval The study was approved by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health IRB and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences IRB.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.