Pediatricians Need Training about Car Booster Seats, Says Study

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Only one of three pediatricians is confident about counseling parents appropriately regarding car booster seats, according to a new study.

The study shows that few pediatricians have received formal training in booster seat laws and guidelines. As a result they lack knowledge of laws, guidelines and proper counseling, according to Jennifer Setlik, M.D., an emergency medicine physician at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.

The study will be presented Oct. 3 at the American Academy of Pediatrics annual meeting in San Francisco.

Dr. Setlik surveyed nearly 100 pediatricians who practice in Ohio. Although 98.4 percent of the pediatricians in the study knew the appropriate height requirements and positioning for booster seats, only 34 percent were confident that they were counseling parents according to AAP guidelines. Half were unaware of Ohio legislation regarding booster seats. Although the study was conducted in Ohio, Dr. Setlik believes the results can be applied to pediatricians nationwide.

“It is very important that pediatricians seek proper training and stay up to date with current information regarding state booster seat laws,” says Dr. Setlik. “They also need to become more knowledgeable about AAP resources that are available to them, including three specific AAP online training guides.”

In addition to lack of training, pediatricians also mentioned other barriers to discussing booster seats with families. These include not enough time during a regular office visit to talk about booster seats and parents’ disinterest.

Most pediatricians surveyed (60 percent) wanted to receive special training about booster seats. “Doctors want to learn more about the topic. We will work closely with the AAP to make that happen.”

About Cincinnati Children’s

Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center is one of just eight children’s hospitals named to the Honor Roll in U.S. News and World Report’s 2010-11 Best Children’s Hospitals. It is ranked #1 for digestive disorders and highly ranked for its expertise in pulmonology, cancer, neonatology, heart and heart surgery, neurology and neurosurgery, diabetes and endocrinology, orthopedics, kidney disorders and urology. Cincinnati Children’s is one of the top two recipients of pediatric research grants from the National Institutes of Health. It is internationally recognized for quality and transformation work by Leapfrog, The Joint Commission, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and by hospitals and health organizations it works with globally. Additional information can be found at

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