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Strengthen the Evidence for Maternal and Child Health Programs

New: MCHbest strategies database for sample ESMs

Evidence Tools
MCHbest. NPM 7: Injury Hospitilization

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Strategy. Community-Based Educational Programs to Promote Child Passenger Safety + Distribution of Safety Equipment

Approach. Conduct educational programs for community members that includes training on installation and use of car seats, booster seats, and seat belts, and distribution of safety equipment.

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Overview. Studies show that buckling children in age- and size-appropriate car seats, booster seats, and seat belts reduces the risk of serious and fatal injuries for children as passengers in motor vehicles. Interventions that focused on distributing child safety seats and training community members in installing and using child restraint systems can be effective in reducing serious injuries and fatalities from motor-vehicle accidents. Examples of studies with positive outcomes used a variety of approaches, including holding a passenger safety education program and providing child safety seats, along with training in their use and enforcement of child restraint laws.1, 2

Evidence. Emerging. Programs that combine training on the installation and use of child safety seats with the distribution of safety equipment appear to be effective in reducing injuries to child passengers. Strategies with this rating show promising outcomes. These strategies have been tested more than once and need further research, often with stronger designs, to confirm effects. Access the peer-reviewed evidence through the MCH Digital Library. (Read more about understanding evidence ratings).

Target Audience. Community members.

Outcome. Increased use of child passenger restraint systems; improvement in the correct use of child passenger safety seats; reduction in child passenger injuries. For detailed outcomes related to each study supporting this strategy, click on the peer-reviewed evidence link above and read the "Intervention Results" for each study.

Examples from the Field. Access descriptions of ESMs that use this strategy directly or intervention components that align with this strategy. You can use these ESMs to see how other Title V agencies are addressing the NPM. You may also want to look at evidence that supports educational programs in other NPM topic areas that can be translated to this specific topic area.

Sample ESMs. Using the approach “Conduct programs for community members that includes training on installation and use of car seats, booster seats, and seat belts, and distribution of safety equipment,” here are sample ESMs you can use as a model for your own measures using the Results-Based Accountability framework:

Quadrant 1:
Measuring Quantity of Effort
("What/how much did we do?")

  • Number of community members participating in educational programs to promoting child passenger safety.
  • Number of communities offering educational programs to prevent child passenger injuries.

Quadrant 2:
Measuring Quality of Effort
("How well did we do it?")

  • Percent of community members participating in educational programs promoting child passenger safety.
  • Percent of communities offering educational programs to prevent child passenger injuries.

Quadrant 3:
Measuring Quantity of Effect
("Is anyone better off?")

  • Number of community members participating in educational programs on child passenger safety who showed an increase in knowledge after they finished the curriculum.
  • Number of community members who reported an increased use of child passenger restraint systems.
  • Number of community members who reported improvement in the correct use of child passenger safety seats.
  • Number of community members who reported a reduction in child passenger injuries.

Quadrant 4:
Measuring Quality of Effect
("How are they better off?")

  • Percent of community members participating in educational programs on child passenger safety who showed an increase in knowledge after they took the curriculum.
  • Percent of community members who reported an increased use of child passenger restraint systems.
  • Percent of community members who reported improvement in the correct use of child passenger safety seats.
  • Percent of community members who reported a reduction in child passenger injuries.

Note. ESMs become stronger as they move from measuring quantity to measuring quality (moving from Quadrants 1 and 3, respectively, to Quadrants 2 and 4) and from measuring effort to measuring effect (moving from Quadrants 1 and 2, respectively, to Quadrants 3 and 4).

Learn More. Read how to create stronger ESMs and how to measure ESM impact more meaningfully through Results-Based Accountability.


References:

1  IMPACT. Transport C. Child Passenger Safety Promotion in Aboriginal Communities. Ottawa, ON: Transport Canada; 2008.

2  Letourneau RJ, Crump CE, Bowling JM, Kuklinski DM, Allen CW. Ride Safe: a child passenger safety program for American Indian/Alaska Native Children. Maternal Child Health J 2008;12(1 suppl): 55-63.

This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant number U02MC31613, MCH Advanced Education Policy, $3.5 M. This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.