Cover: Children's Seatbelt Usage

Children's Seatbelt Usage

Evidence from the National Health Interview Survey

Published 1986

by John Haaga


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This Note, reprinted from the American Journal of Public Health, v. 76, no. 12, December 1986, uses data from the 1981 Child Health Supplement to the National Health Interview Survey to examine relationships between family and child characteristics and regular use of seatbelts or child restraints. Only for a third of children less than seven years old was regular seatbelt use reported. They were more likely to be used for infants and younger children than for older children; for a given child's age, older mothers were more likely to report seatbelt use by their children. Hispanics and blacks reported lower rates of seatbelt use than white non-Hispanics, and usage rates were higher when mothers had more education. In a multivariate analysis, the effects of race, ethnicity, family income, urban residence, and child's age remained. A positive association with reported seatbelt use was found for such health-promoting behaviors as breastfeeding and abstinence from smoking during pregnancy.

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