Knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors related to child safety restraint in citizens of Shenzhen Municipality, China, and the associations between these factors

Objective: A child safety restraint (CSR) is an effective measure to reduce the risk of child injury from traffic collisions. This study aims to explore knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors regarding CSRs in a Chinese population.

Methods: A cross-sectional survey regarding CSR use was conducted from April to May 2014 in Shenzhen municipality. Respondents were parents who had at least one child 0 to 6 years of age and owned a car. These parents provided a self-report of demographic characteristics as well as information about their knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors toward CSR use.

Results: Most respondents had a fair level of knowledge about CSRs, with higher mean knowledge scores demonstrated among the respondents who were male, had an advanced degree, had a higher income, owned an expensive car, had an older child, drove frequently with children, and routinely drove greater distances with children. In addition, most respondents had a more positive attitude toward CSR use, with a higher mean attitude score among those who had an advanced degree, owned an expensive car, drove frequently with children, and routinely drove greater distances with children. However, some myths regarding CSR use also existed (e.g., parents can effectively protect their children in a car collision by holding them, they are not required to purchase the CSR for child safety if there is no mandatory provision by law, among others). Among 3,768 respondents who had at least one child and a car, 27.8% (1,047) had a CSR and 22.9% (864) used the CSR. A logistic regression model showed the likelihood of CSR ownership to be higher if respondents drove frequently or greater distances and was dependent on both the education level of the respondents and the age of the children. The frequency of CSR use increased as the age of children decreased (P = .0274). Respondents who owned a CSR and those who frequently used CSRs had higher mean knowledge and mean attitude scores.

Conclusions: This observational study found that although the majority of respondents had fair levels of knowledge and positive attitudes, they had lower rates of CSR ownership and use. Therefore, efforts at developing opportunities to expand public awareness of CSR use should be made to improve child passenger safety practices and eliminate child injury caused by traffic collisions.