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Increasing Booster Seat Use for Children

Community Education Campaign Doubles Use of Car Safety Device in Seattle Area
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Feb. 18, 2003 -- More Seattle children are riding in car booster seats, thanks to a community campaign.

That's good news, since motor vehicle collisions remain the leading cause of death for children between 4 and 8 years old -- yet only an estimated 6% to 19% of children ride in booster seats, writes Beth E. Ebel, MD, MSc, MPH, a pediatrician with the University of Washington in Seattle. Her paper outlining results of this campaign appears in the Feb. 19 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association.

The campaign used stories in the media, educational outreach programs, and a coalition of agencies to get the message out. It also provided coupons to reduce the price of purchasing a car booster seat.

Before the campaign began, 13% of greater Seattle children were riding in the seats. By the campaign's end, booster seat use increased to 26%.

The researchers say this community-based campaign might be a useful model for other communities working on injury prevention.

SOURCE: The Journal of the American Medical Association, Feb. 19, 2003.

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