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Can child restraint product information developed using consumer testing sustain correct use 6 months after child restraint purchase? Study protocol for a cluster randomised controlled trial
  1. Julie Brown1,
  2. Jane Elkington1,
  3. Alexandra Hall1,
  4. Lisa Keay2,
  5. Judith L Charlton3,
  6. Kate Hunter2,
  7. Sjaan Koppel3,
  8. Andrew Hayen4,
  9. Lynne E Bilston1
  1. 1 Injury Prevention, Neuroscience Research Australia, Randwick, New South Wales, Australia
  2. 2 Injury Division, The George Institute for Global Health, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  3. 3 Accident Research Centre, Monash University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  4. 4 Faculty of Health, University of Technology Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  1. Correspondence to A/Prof Julie Brown, Neuroscience Research Australia, Randwick, NSW 2031, Australia; j.brown{at}


Background With long-standing and widespread high rates of errors in child restraint use, there is a need to identify effective methods to address this problem. Information supplied with products at the point of sale may be a potentially efficient delivery point for such a countermeasure. The aim of this study is to establish whether product materials developed using a consumer-driven approach reduce errors in restraint use among purchasers of new child restraint systems.

Methods A cluster randomised controlled trial (cRCT) will be conducted. Retail stores (n=22) in the greater Sydney area will be randomised into intervention sites (n=11) and control sites (n=11), stratified by geographical and socioeconomic indicators. Participants (n=836) will enter the study on purchase of a restraint. Outcome measures are errors in installation of the restraint as observed by a trained researcher during a 6-month follow-up home assessment, and adjustment checks made by the parent when the child is placed into the restraint (observed using naturalistic methods). Process evaluation measures will also be collected during the home visit. An intention-to-treat approach will be used for all analyses. Correct use and adjustment checks made by the parent will be compared between control and intervention groups using a logistic regression model. The number of installation errors between groups will be compared using Poisson regression.

Discussion This cRCT will determine the effectiveness of targeted, consumer-driven information on actual error rates in use of restraints. More broadly, it may provide a best practice model for developing safety product information.

Trial registration number ACTRN12617001252303p; Pre-results.

  • passenger
  • child
  • randomized trial
  • restraints
  • motor vehicle � occupant

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  • Contributors All authors contributed to the design of the study and drafting of the manuscript.

  • Funding This work is funded by NHMRC Project Grant APP1124981. JB and LEB are supported by NHMRC Fellowships. KH is supported by an NSW Health EMC Fellowship. AH is supported by an Australian Postgraduate Award.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Ethics approval The study protocol has been approved by the Human Research Ethics Committee, University of New South Wales (approval number HC17606).

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