Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Parents overestimate children’s bike, car safety habits

19.05.2004


UMHS researcher finds gap between what parents, children report



Parents think their children use bicycle helmets and seatbelts more often than children say they use them, according to a new study by a University of Michigan Health System pediatric surgeon.

In a survey of 731 fourth and fifth grade pupils and 329 of their parents, researchers found that while 70 percent of parents say their child always wears a bicycle helmet while riding, only 51 percent of children report wearing a helmet. One-fifth of the children said they never wear a helmet, while only 4 percent of parents said their children never use one.


Vehicle safety practices had similar discrepancies: Parents say their children use a seatbelt 92 percent of the time, but children report using one only 70 percent of the time. And while 80 percent of parents say their children always sit in the vehicle’s backseat, only 43 percent of children say they always sit in back.

The study appears in the current issue of the journal Injury Control and Safety Promotion.

"There’s a real void between the availability of good safety devices and actual use by parents and children. This study shows the need to target injury prevention programs to parents and children together. We can’t rely solely on parental reports of children’s safety behaviors. Injury prevention must be treated as a family issue," says Peter Erlich, M.D., M.H.S., a pediatric surgeon at UMHS. Ehrlich, clinical associate professor in the Department of Surgery at U-M Medical School, conducted the study while at the Children’s Hospital of West Virginia.

Traumatic injuries are the leading cause of death in children, with 500,000 children hospitalized annually due to injury. Motor vehicle crashes account for more than half of all injuries and traumatic deaths in children, and bicycle accidents account for another 10 percent. Seatbelts, car seats and bike helmets have all proved successful at reducing the frequency and severity of injuries in children – but only if they are used.

In the current study, the largest matched analysis on injury prevention, researchers surveyed children from eight West Virginia elementary schools and sent home questionnaires for the children’s parents to return by mail. Surveys were coded so that the child’s and parent’s responses could be matched.

The answers collected from the children is consistent with national data on bike helmet and seatbelt use, suggesting their answers are closer to reality than the parents’ answers.

In addition to the discrepancies reported by parents and children, the study also found a strong correlation between parental behavior and the child’s behavior. Among the matched parent-child responses, 15 percent of the children said they never use a bicycle helmet – and 88 percent of those children’s parents also report never wearing a helmet. Further, children who said they ride their bikes with their parents were more likely to report helmet use than children who do not ride with their parents, 70 percent compared to 40 percent.

Seatbelt use followed a similar pattern, with children of parents who always wear a seatbelt nearly three times more likely to wear a seatbelt and sit in the backseat. Parents who seldom wear a seatbelt were twice as likely to have children who sit in the front seat unbelted.

"The time-tested mantra that ’actions speak louder than words’ clearly held true in our study. This suggests the need for injury prevention programs to stress the importance of parental role models," Ehrlich says.

Some children said they refused to wear bicycle helmets at all. Of the 13 percent of kids who did not use helmets, the most common reason was they thought they were too experienced to need one. Other reasons were that helmets were uncomfortable or uncool. The researchers conclude that injury prevention programs must counter the myth that experience makes safety measures unnecessary.


###
The research was funded by a grant from the West Virginia University School of Medicine. In addition to Ehrlich, study authors were James Helmkamp, Ph.D., Janet Williams, M.D., Arshadul Haque, MPH, and Paul Furbee, all from the Center for Rural Emergency Medicine at West Virginia University.

Citation: Injury Control and Safety Promotion, Vol. 11, No. 1, pgs. 23-28.

Nicole Fawcett | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.umich.edu/

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht The Great Unknown: Risk-Taking Behavior in Adolescents
19.01.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

nachricht A sudden drop in outdoor temperature increases the risk of respiratory infections
11.01.2017 | University of Gothenburg

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Helmholtz International Fellow Award for Sarah Amalia Teichmann

20.01.2017 | Awards Funding

An innovative high-performance material: biofibers made from green lacewing silk

20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery

20.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>