Objectives 600 child occupants were killed or seriously injured in the United Kingdom in 2006. A further 10,000 were injured during this period. Government regulations regarding child restraints were revised in September 2006. We sought to evaluate parental knowledge of the regulations and to establish the percentage of children using the correct restraint.
Methods Our study was undertaken in the Emergency Department of the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Glasgow for one week. Parents were asked to fill out a questionnaire and children were weighed and measured accordingly.
Results During the one week period 313 surveys were completed. 23.9% of children were using an incorrect car seat restraint. Of parents aware that the regulations were updated in 2006, 75.5% were using the correct restraint versus 78.2% using the correct restraint of those unaware of the regulation update.
For infants using rear facing car seats 31.6% of parents were unaware that when the seat was in the front passenger seat the airbag must be disabled.
Conclusion Our study showed that nearly a quarter of children are still using the incorrect car seat and even parents aware of the updated guidelines did not improve upon this statistic.
We gave out an information booklet containing the new guidelines in the hope of improving car seat safety locally and believe that the study shows that further education is required nationally of the regulations in order to improve parental awareness and reduce the numbers of fatalities and seriously injured children from road traffic accidents.