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NeuRA Magazine #27

BETTER LABELLING ON CHILD CAR RESTRAINTS COULD INCREASE CORRECT USE BY 27%

A recent study by Associate Professor Julie Brown has revealed research statistics that show improved design of child restraint instructional materials could increase correct use by up to 27 per cent, saving lives and preventing injuries.

“Research undertaken at NeuRA identified a critical relationship between comprehension of instructional materials and errors in use,” said Associate Professor Brown. In a survey of 400 Australian parents, 90 per cent reported that they had read the instructions supplied with the restraints, yet high rates of incorrect use continue.

“This suggested instructional materials in their current form may not be effective in communicating how to use restraints correctly, and that we may need to take a new approach to how instructional materials are regulated in product standards,” said Associate Professor Brown.

As part of the study, researchers at NeuRA looked at the range of instructional materials provided by manufacturers of restraints. Following their review, Associate Professor Brown worked in collaboration with parents and users to develop a new set of prototype instructional materials for using child car restraints.

Using the new consumer-driven instructional materials 27 per cent more people attained correct use, and comprehension was 42 per cent higher. Injury is the leading cause of death and hospitalisation in Australia of children aged over one year.

Associate Professor Brown and her team at NeuRA are now taking this study from the lab to the real world to make child restraints in cars safer and more effective.

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