Interprovincial Differences in Childhood Motor Vehicle-Related Injuries and Booster Seat Legislation Across Canada
CPS ePoster Library. Fridman L. 06/01/17; 176655; 94
Ms. Liraz Fridman
Ms. Liraz Fridman
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Background: In Canada, policies related to the prevention of childhood motor vehicle injuries, including graduated driver's licensing, distracted driving, and booster seat legislation, vary by province. In some provinces, booster seat legislation only includes age, weight, and height restrictions. Other provinces have policies that include driver responsibility, non-compliance penalties, and public education and incentive programs. Alberta is currently the only province that does not have booster seat legislation. Although using a child restraint can reduce the risk of fatality and serious injury for infants and toddlers by 50-70%, Snowdon et al. (2009) found that only 60.5% of the children were restrained in the correct safety seat. This study raised questions about the relationship between booster seat legislation and uptake of appropriate child restraint. Although there is evidence that shows that booster seat legislation can be effective in reducing childhood motor vehicle related injuries, there is still a lack of harmonization of this legislation across Canada.

Objectives: The objectives of this study are to perform 1) an interprovincial comparison of hospitalization and death rates related to pediatric motor-vehicle collisions and 2) summarize differences in booster seat legislation across Canadian provinces.

Methods: An interprovincial comparison of motor vehicle-related hospitalizations and death rates in Canadian children and adolescents (0-19 years old) was performed using data from the Discharge Abstract Database and the Vital Statistics Death Database. Population-based rates per 100,000 are reported for each province over a 6-year time period (2006-2012). A literature review comparing differences in booster seat legislation in Canada has also been summarized.

Results: The population-based hospitalization rate from motor-vehicle related injuries sustained between 2006 and 2012 for children ages 5-9 was highest in Saskatchewan (78.21 per 100,000) and lowest in Ontario (30.72 per 100,000) compared to the Canadian average (40.37 per 100,000). The population-based motor-vehicle related fatality rate in 2006 for children and adolescents ages 0-19 was highest in Alberta (7.82 per 100,000) and lowest in Ontario (3.52 per 100,000). However this rate did decrease over the 6 year period to a fatality rate of 4.18 and 2.27 per 100,000 respectively in Alberta and Ontario.

Conclusion: Provinces that have not enacted booster seat legislation have the highest rate of childhood motor-vehicle related fatalities compared to the Canadian average. These findings highlight the importance of implementing evidence-based prevention policies across Canadian provinces in order to decrease the burden of transport-related injuries.

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