Factors Associated With Poor Child Motor Vehicle Restraint on the USA-Mexico Border.
Motor vehicle collisions (MVCs) are a significant cause of pediatric morbidity, particularly in low- to middle-income countries. We describe car seat use in children on the USA-Mexico border. A retrospective review was conducted for children 0-9 years old, admitted to the region's only Level I trauma center. Simultaneously, data were obtained from the SAFE KIDS database, a program that encourages car seat use through city checkpoints. There were 250 MVC admissions and nine fatalities in children 0-9 years old from 2010 to 2015. Nine percent of MVCs occurred in Mexico and 49% in El Paso, TX. Comparing trauma admissions to SAFE KIDS, there was some correlation between the location of MVCs and screening checkpoints (r = .50). There was a weaker correlation between injured children's neighborhoods and screening locations (r = .32). Only 37% of parents knew the crash history of the car seat and 3% were using a car seat previously involved in an MVC. While 96% of inspected children were placed appropriately in the backseat, 80% of children were found to be inappropriately restrained. Younger children more likely to be restrained (p < .05). Children from New Mexico and Mexico had the lowest rates of proper restraint and the highest injury severity scores. Proper use of car seats is a public health concern on the USA-Mexico border, and children are not properly restrained. Screening may be improved by focusing where at-risk children live and where most accidents occur. Restraint education is needed, particularly in New Mexico and Mexico.
Schrodt, A; Huynh, T; Fitzgerald, TN
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