Identifying High-Risk Areas for Child Safety Seat Misuse: A Geographic Information Systems Approach

Faculty Contact: Michelle L. Macy, MD, MS

Background:
Child safety seats and seat belts have been proven effective for reducing the risk of severe injuries and death. However not all children are restrained according to recommendations and there are concerns regarding race and age-based disparities in child passenger restraint use in the United States.

Hypothesis:
There are differences in the utilization of child safety seat inspection programs by caregivers from different geographic areas and different socio-economic and racial/ethnic backgrounds.

Aim 1:
To determine geographic census block groups of low and high levels (hot spots) of participation in the C.S. Mott Children's Hospital and Greater Grand Rapids Buckle Up programs and compare hot spots to non-hot spots for program participation in regard to socio-demographic measures (e.g., race/ethnicity, poverty rates, child age).

Aim 2:
To identify hot spot geographic areas for child safety seat misuse and compare hot spots to non-hot spots for child safety seat misuse in regard to socio-demographic measures (e.g., race/ethnicity, poverty rates, child age).

Data Sources:
Standardized paper data collection forms from nearly 5,000 child safety seat inspections completed by the Greater Grand Rapids and C.S. Mott Children's Hospital Buckle Up programs. Census block group data from the 2010 U.S. Census.

Methods:
Retrospective analysis of data collected during Greater Grand Rapids and C.S. Mott Children's Hospital Buckle Up child safety seat inspections. The outcome measure for Aim 1 will be participation in the inspection programs. The outcome measure for Aim 2 will be child safety seat misuse. Maps will be generated to demonstrate the geographic variation in program participation and to highlight areas of high child safety seat misuse. Census block group hot spots will be identified based on the top decile for child safety seat misuse and will be compared with all other block groups on measures of social disorganization from the 2010 Census.

Funding:
This project is funded by the University of Michigan Injury Center (http://www.injurycenter.umich.edu).

For more information, please contact:
Michelle L. Macy, MD, MS
Clinical Lecturer
Departments of Emergency Medicine and Pediatrics
Child Health Evaluation and Research Unit
University of Michigan
300 North Ingalls Building Room 6C13
Ann Arbor, Michigan
mlmacy[at]umich[dot]edu