Download the full-sized PDF of Epidemiology of Booster Seat Misuse in AlbertaDownload the full-sized PDF



Permanent link (DOI):


Export to: EndNote  |  Zotero  |  Mendeley


This file is in the following communities:

Graduate Studies and Research, Faculty of


This file is in the following collections:

Theses and Dissertations

Epidemiology of Booster Seat Misuse in Alberta Open Access


Other title
Child Restraint Misuse
Child Restraint
Booster Seat
Booster Seat Resources
Child Passenger Safety
Car Seat
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Golonka, Richard, P
Supervisor and department
Don Voaklander, Department of Public Health Sciences, School of Public Health
Examining committee member and department
Bonnie Dobbs, Department of Family Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry
Brian Rowe, Department of Emergency Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry
Department of Public Health Sciences
Date accepted
Graduation date
Master of Science
Degree level
Premature graduation from a booster seat to an adult seat belt places the child at increased risk of injury in the event of a collision, a practice that remains an important public health issue in Canada. Obtaining baseline information that describes the prevalence, nature and determinants of booster seat misuse, as well as the information utilization patterns of parents of booster eligible children is a required first step towards understanding this issue within the Alberta context. Between May 1st and August 31st, 2008 at 67 randomly selected childcare centers in both urban and rural locations, drivers exiting with their children were approached and asked to participate in a parking lot interview and simultaneous in-vehicle restraint inspection. Overall, 31.8% of booster eligible children were improperly restrained. Additionally, 11.4% of booster eligible children were improperly restrained even though they were in the correct seat. While the prevalence of improper seat choice was low as children first became eligible for booster seats (~15%), rates of premature graduation increased to ~50% and higher as the child neared the adult seatbelt transition point boundary of 80lbs. Children at low risk of being seated in the wrong seat included those riding with drivers that were able to successfully recall any child restraint transition point (OR: 0.27; 95%CI: 0.14-0.50; p<0.0001), while children at high risk of being seated in wrong seat included those riding in vehicles with three children (OR: 2.67; 95%CI: 1.2-6.06; p=0.020). Nearly half of all parents of booster eligible children had used a printed resource or a non-physician health professional to obtain information on child restraints, with the non-physician health professional being the most preferred source overall in the survey. By sex, males both utilized and preferred the use of non-health professionals to obtain information while females both utilized and preferred the use of non-physician health professionals. The lowest rates of misuse were seen among drivers who had utilized a physician as an information source, who were also among the most underutilized sources in the survey. Drivers able to use their preferred information source exhibited lower rates of booster seat misuse, regardless of which source was used. Efforts must be made to increase awareness of booster seat transition points, of which, enactment of mandatory booster legislation is crucial. Additionally, avenues for parents to consult directly with non-physician health professionals must remain abundant and accessible as this was the most common pathway for obtaining information. Other less common sources must not however, be overlooked, as nearly all sources exhibited the potential to be correlated with proper use as long as it was also preferred by the parent.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
Citation for previous publication

File Details

Date Uploaded
Date Modified
Audit Status
Audits have not yet been run on this file.
File format: pdf (PDF/A)
Mime type: application/pdf
File size: 11052907
Last modified: 2015:10:21 23:52:18-06:00
Filename: Golonka_Richard_P_201412_MSc.pdf
Original checksum: 9aa47e6ad2fcc73495e57b5999c2d683
Activity of users you follow
User Activity Date