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A risky "treat": exploring parental perceptions of the barriers to seating their children in the rear seats of passenger vehicles

Lennon, Alexia J. (2007) A risky "treat": exploring parental perceptions of the barriers to seating their children in the rear seats of passenger vehicles. Injury Prevention, 13(2), pp. 105-109.

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Abstract

Background: Sitting in the rear seat of a vehicle reduces children's risk of injury or death by 35% or more in the event of a crash, compared to sitting in the front. As road trauma is a leading cause of child morbidity and mortality in highly motorised nations, even in countries where restraint use is high, encouraging parents to place children in the rear seats of vehicles offers a low-cost avenue to improving children's overall health. However, we know little about the factors that affect parents' decisions about seating position. Objective: To explore parental perceptions of barriers to placing their children in the rear seat of passenger vehicles whenever possible. Design and subjects: Focus group discussions were held with urban parent-drivers to elicit their concerns about children's car safety and barriers to rear seat use. Results: Most parents had a rule that children should sit in the rear seat. Parents said they relaxed these rules for a variety of reasons including: social pressure; perceptions of the trip as short; because children regard sitting in the front seat as a "treat". Parenting style, child cooperativeness, social pressure and inability to justify the risk of injury were identified as barriers to rear seat travel. . Conclusions: Effective interventions to increase the proportion of children travelling in the rear seat should address parents' experiences of pressure to relax seating rules and risk perception as well as provide strategies that support sound parental safety decisions.

Impact and interest:

9 citations in Scopus
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10 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 7321
Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: road safety, child restraints
DOI: 10.1136/ip.2006.012906
ISSN: 1353-8047
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700) > Preventive Medicine (111716)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > TRANSPORTATION AND FREIGHT SERVICES (150700) > Road Transportation and Freight Services (150703)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000) > PSYCHOLOGY (170100) > Psychology not elsewhere classified (170199)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Centre for Accident Research & Road Safety - Qld (CARRS-Q)
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2007 BMJ Publishing Group
Copyright Statement: Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Deposited On: 04 May 2007
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 23:34

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