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Race Linked to Age-Appropriate Use of Child Car Seats

White parents more likely to report use of age-appropriate safety seats in children aged 1 to 7 years

Race Linked to Age-Appropriate Use of Child Car Seats

FRIDAY, Jan. 17, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Age-appropriate use of child passenger restraint differs by race even when other factors such as education and income are considered, according to research published online Jan. 13 in Pediatrics.

Michelle L. Macy, M.D., of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and colleagues surveyed parents seeking emergency care for their child (ages 1 to 12 years) regarding child passenger safety practices.

The researchers found, based on complete responses from 601 participants, that white parents, compared with nonwhite parents, reported greater use of car seats for children aged 1 to 3 years and booster seats for children aged 4 to 7 years. For children aged 8 to 12 years who were 4 feet and 9 inches tall or shorter, <30 percent used a booster seat regardless of race. After controlling for education, income, child passenger safety information sources, and study site, white parents were significantly more likely to report use of age-appropriate passenger restraint than nonwhite parents (adjusted odds ratio, 3.86).

"Clinicians caring for children have the potential to influence child passenger safety practices, and efforts should be directed at eliminating disparities through culturally appropriate interventions," the authors write.

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