Epidemiology: Prevention Research

King County Booster Seat Campaign

Key Investigators: Frederick Rivara, M.D., M.P.H., and Beth Ebel, M.D., M.Sc., M.P.H.
University of Washington Department of Pediatrics and Epidemiology
Funding Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Traffic crashes are the leading cause of death for children between 4 and 8 years of age, yet most children are improperly restrained while they ride. Although children this age are still too small to be protected by adult seat belts, booster seats provide protection until these children are big enough to be properly restrained by adult seat belts. This campaign, a collaboration between the HIPRC, Children's Hospital and Regional Medical Center, the Washington Traffic Safety Commission, and Safety Restraint Coalition, promotes the use of booster seats in the greater Seattle metropolitan area. The campaign includes a broad-based public outreach effort involving news media, a coupon program, and the support of a local retailer. This approach will be rigorously evaluated for effectiveness and can provide for potential replication across the U.S.