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Open Access Research article

Parental willingness to pay for child safety seats in Mashad, Iran

Lida Jarahi12, Mojgan Karbakhsh23* and Arash Rashidian4

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Community Medicine, Mashad University of Medical Sciences, Mashad, Iran

2 Sina Trauma Research Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

3 Department of Community Medicine, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

4 Department of Health Management and Economics, School of Public Health/Knowledge Utilization Research Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

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BMC Public Health 2011, 11:281  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-11-281

Published: 8 May 2011

Abstract

Background

Iran has one of the highest rates of road traffic crash death rates throughout the world and road traffic injuries are the leading cause of years of life lost in the country. Using child car safety seats is not mandatory by law in Iran. The purpose of this research was to determine the parental willingness to pay (WTP) for child restraints in Mashad, the second most populated city in Iran with one of the highest rates of road traffic-related deaths.

Methods

We surveyed 590 car-owner parents of kindergarten children who were willing to participate in the study in the year 2009. We asked them about the maximum amount of money they were willing to pay for car safety seats using contingent valuation method.

Results

The mean age of children was 33.5 months. The median parental WTP for CSS was about $15. Considering the real price of CSSs in Iran, only 12 percent of responders could be categorized as being willing to pay for it. Family income level was the main predictor of being willing to pay.

Conclusions

The median parental WTP was much lower than the actual price of the safety seats, and those who were of lower socio-economic class were less willing to pay. Interventions to increase low-income families' access to child safety seats such as providing free of charge or subsidized seats, renting or health insurance coverage should be considered.