On behalf of the Dutch Road Safety Association a survey of the use of child restraint devices (CRDs) in The Netherlands was conducted. In a population of 420 parents of children younger than 5 years old, 95% possessed at least one CRD, while 83% of the owners always, or most of the time, used a CRD when transporting a young child. It appeared that while the decision to buy a CRD was mainly determined by beliefs concerning safety and comfort provided by CRDs, the actual use of CRDs was determined primarily by the reaction of restrained children. Parents, once in possession of a CRD, seem to agree on the safety and comfort of CRDs. Not until they start using it do some parents find that their child responds irritably. For parents not using a CRD regularly, this seems to be the main reason for their behaviour. Another significant determinant, although less influential, appeared to be the perceived social influence of partners of the respondents and of road safety experts. The practical implications for health education include the recommendation to separately address parents who are already in possession of a CRD and parents who are not. Furthermore, some theoretical implications are discussed.