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Abstract

Introduction: Motor vehicle crashes have been identified as one of the leading causes of death, injury and disability among young children, less than 5 years, in Qatar. Child passenger restraint systems [CRS] are one of the most effective means to reduce these in child passengers. Previous studies on the effectiveness of a child restraint have shown that if child occupants are properly restrained, the fatality risk is reduced by 28% and serious injury by 82% (1). The objective of this survey is to examine knowledge, attitudes and usage of CRS in a sample of parents with young children in Doha, Qatar. It was conducted as part of a larger ‘Young Kids in Safe Seats (Y-KISS)’ grant [NPRP 7-1681-3-429] funded by the Qatar Foundation designed to measure current CRS knowledge, attitudes and practices and test two potential interventions to improve their use in Qatar. It has been predicted that by the year 2020, RTIs will be the third major cause of disability and hence is an alarming public health problem currently prevailing (2). Methods: A custom designed survey, containing 25 questions that tested CRS knowledge, attitudes and practice of participants, was applied by trained health communicators in 3 Well Baby Clinics of the Primary Health Care Corporation [PHCC]. All participants at least had one child between the ages of 0-5.The survey was conducted in self-administered electronic tabs and was made available in four languages as per the convenience of the participant. Results: The survey collected information from 602 parents, of children under 5 years consulting at well-baby clinics, on: method of child transport, use of CRS, knowledge of CRS, and demographic characteristics. The sample size included 30% Qatari population and 70% expatriates. Almost 50% parents who participated had a Bachelor's degree. The results showed that only 43% used a CRS for their children and only 53% had a car seat.. The most common reasons for not using a safety seat included children crying when in CRS (56%) and a preference to hold the child (18.1%).Only 23% parents had correct knowledge of the appropriate age and weight limits of transitioning car seats as the child grows. Only 38% were aware of the benefits of using a car seat. Moreover, nearly all [94%] reported never witnessing enforcement of child passenger laws prohibiting children from riding in the front, concomitantly only 9% stated that a law requiring CRS use would make them use one for their children Conclusion: Less than half of young children, in this study population, were benefitting from safety provided by CRS. There is a need to develop awareness programs that educate caregivers on the benefits and proper use of CRS. Other priority areas for intervention include the consistent enforcement of laws banning children in the front seat and extending current passenger restraint laws to include all vehicle passengers. References: 1. Keay L, Brown J, Hunter K, Ivers R. Adopting child restraint laws to address child passenger injuries: Experience from high income countries and new initiatives in low and middle income countries. Injury. 2015;46(6):933–4. 2. Bener A, Hussain SJ, Ghaffar A, Abou-Taleb H, El-Sayed HF. Trends in childhood trauma mortality in the fast economically developing State of Qatar. World J Pediatr WJP. 2011 Feb;7(1):41–4.

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/content/papers/10.5339/qfarc.2018.SSAHPD557
2018-03-15
2019-10-20
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