This study seeks to evaluate the comprehension of and attitudes toward proper restraint use among women attending prenatal care
Four-hundred and fifty women were asked to complete a survey during prenatal care
visits at county health department clinics; the response rate was 92.0%. Women were asked to provide demographic information and report their frequency and knowledge of proper automobile restraint use.
Nearly all subjects (95.4%) either maintained or increased their pre-pregnancy
frequency of restraint use. Three-hundred (72.5%) subjects demonstrated that they wore their restraints in the correct location, with women who wore restraints more frequently being more likely to report correct placement. Two-hundred and forty-nine (60.1%) of women reported that restraints would protect their baby if they were involved in a collision, while 48 (11.6%) thought the restraints would cause injury to their baby, and 153 (37.0%) were unsure. Women who reported that restraints would protect them and their baby if involved in a collision were significantly more likely to report always wearing restraints compared with those who were unsure or had negative perceptions of restraints (84.4% vs. 64.6%; p
< 0.0001). The most commonly reported reasons for lack of restraint use were lack of comfort (52.8%) and forgetfulness (42.5%). Only 36.9% percent of women reported receiving information regarding restraint use during their current pregnancy
Many gravid women lack information regarding proper seat belt use and their role in injury prevention. Consequently, the frequency of seat belt use and its correct placement are negatively impacted. Health care workers should take an active role in educating pregnant gravid women about proper restraint use.