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Open AccessArticle

Evaluating Otto the Auto: Does Engagement in an Interactive Website Improve Young Children’s Transportation Safety?

1
Department of Psychology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, 1300 University Blvd, CH 415, Birmingham, AL 35294, USA
2
Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, 700 Children’s Drive, Columbus, OH 43205, USA
3
Department of Biostatistics, University of Alabama at Birmingham, 1665 University Blvd, Birmingham, AL 35294, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(7), 804; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14070804
Received: 9 June 2017 / Revised: 13 July 2017 / Accepted: 17 July 2017 / Published: 19 July 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Child Injury Prevention 2017)
Transportation-related injuries are a leading cause of pediatric death, and effective interventions are limited. Otto the Auto is a website offering engaging, interactive activities. We evaluated Otto among a sample of sixty-nine 4- and 5-year-old children, who participated in a randomized parallel group design study. Following baseline evaluation, children engaged with either Otto or a control website for 2 weeks and then were re-evaluated. Children who used Otto failed to show increases in transportation safety knowledge or behavior compared to the control group, although there was a dosage effect whereby children who engaged in the website more with parents gained safer behavior patterns. We conclude Otto may have some efficacy when engaged by children with their parents, but continued efforts to develop and refine engaging, effective, theory-driven strategies to teach children transportation safety, including via internet, should be pursued. View Full-Text
Keywords: transportation safety; children; traffic safety; injury prevention; mHealth; eHealth; website; Otto the Auto transportation safety; children; traffic safety; injury prevention; mHealth; eHealth; website; Otto the Auto
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Schwebel, D.C.; Johnston, A.; Shen, J.; Li, P. Evaluating Otto the Auto: Does Engagement in an Interactive Website Improve Young Children’s Transportation Safety? Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14, 804.

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