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Use of Child Safety Seats: Community-Wide Information and Enhanced Enforcement Campaigns

Community-wide information and enhanced enforcement campaigns include mass media, information and publicity, public displays about safety seats, and special strategies such as checkpoints, dedicated law enforcement officials, or alternative penalties (e.g., informational warnings instead of citations).

Summary of Task Force Recommendations and Findings

The Community Preventive Services Task Force recommends community-wide information and enhanced enforcement campaigns based on sufficient evidence of their effectiveness in increasing child safety seat use.

Task Force Finding

Results from the Systematic Review

Four studies qualified for the review.

  • Child safety seat use: increased by a median of 12 percentage points (interquartile interval: 3.8 to 21 percentage points; 4 studies)
  • Studies involved populations at all socioeconomic levels (i.e. race, age, income) and in settings including cities, suburbs, and states.
  • Design and implementation of campaigns involved community organizations and government agencies, such as public safety and public health groups, schools, advocacy organizations and parent groups.

These results are based on a systematic review of all available studies led by scientists from the Community Guide and CDC's Division of Unintentional Injury Prevention with input from a team of specialists in systematic review methods and experts in research, practice and policy related to increasing child safety seat use.

Supporting Materials


Task Force on Community Preventive Services. Motor-vehicle occupant injury: strategies for increasing use of child safety seats, increasing use of safety belts, and reducing alcohol-impaired driving. MMWR. Recommendations and Reports 2001;50(RR07):1-13. External Web Site Icon

Task Force on Community Preventive Services. Recommendations to reduce injuries to motor vehicle occupants: increasing child safety seat use, increasing safety belt use, and reducing alcohol-impaired driving. Adobe PDF File [PDF - 78 kB] Am J Prev Med 2001;21(4S):16–22.

Zaza S, Sleet DA, Thompson RS, et al. Reviews of evidence regarding interventions to increase use of child safety seats. Adobe PDF File [PDF - 2.44 MB] Am J Prev Med 2001;21(4S): 31-47.

Task Force on Community Preventive Services. Motor vehicle occupant injuries. Adobe PDF File [PDF - 355 kB] In : Zaza S, Briss PA, Harris KW, eds. The Guide to Community Preventive Services: What Works to Promote Health? Atlanta (GA): Oxford University Press;2005:329-84.

Read other Community Guide publications about Motor Vehicle-Related Injury Prevention in our library.


The findings and conclusions on this page are those of the Community Preventive Services Task Force and do not necessarily represent those of CDC. Task Force evidence-based recommendations are not mandates for compliance or spending. Instead, they provide information and options for decision makers and stakeholders to consider when determining which programs, services, and policies best meet the needs, preferences, available resources, and constraints of their constituents.

Sample Citation

The content of publications of the Guide to Community Preventive Services is in the public domain. Citation as to source, however, is appreciated. Sample citation: Guide to Community Preventive Services. Use of child safety seats: community-wide information and enhanced enforcement campaigns. Last updated: MM/DD/YYYY.

Review completed: June 1998