Adopting child restraint laws to address child passenger injuries: Experience from high income countries and new initiatives in low and middle income countries

  • Published: Injury, Volume 46, Issue 6, June 2015
  • Authors: Lisa Keay, Julie Brown, Kate Hunter, Rebecca Ivers,
  • Date Added: 07 Dec 2015
  • Last Update: 07 Dec 2015
  • Format: pdf


To describe the experience of high income countries in achieving high levels of child car restraint use.


Editorial article

Key Findings

  • Child car restraint laws are one of the five key road safety laws named in the Global Decade of Action for Road Safety.

  • While comprehensive seat belts laws cover 69% of the world’s population, child car seat laws cover only 32%.

  • Child car restraint laws are more common in high income countries but new laws are being enacted in middle and low income countries.

  • Even though child restraint laws are important, experience in high income countries shows that high levels of compliance are difficult to achieve with education and enforcement programmes, and support programmes to distribute child restraints.

  • As with other forms of legislation, enforcement programmes are critical to achieving high levels of compliance.

  • According to the WHO, only 17% of the 96 countries with child restraint laws have good enforcement programmes.

  • Experience in high income countries also shows that education and consumer information programmes are needed to ensure that good quality child restraints are provided, and that best practice in using child car restraints is adopted.