Karen Tessier, PhD, RN

Assistant Professor

Nancy Atmospera-Walch School of Nursing
University of Hawaii at Manoa
2528 McCarthy Mall, Webster Hall 408
Honolulu, Hawaii 96822
Cell: (808) 294-0402
Fax: (808) 956-3257

Larger photo of Karen Tessier, PhD, RN


Dr. Tessier’s area of focus is child and family health, particularly child safety and injury prevention. She is particularly interested in the area of child passenger safety, and the use, misuse, and nonuse of child safety restraints (car seats, boosters, and safety belts) in vehicles. Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of child injury deaths, and most of these deaths are because the child is not correctly restrained.

Her dissertation research was a randomized clinical trial comparing a hands-on method of teaching parents how to correctly install and use a new child restraint vs. no hands-on teaching. The results showed that the hands-on teaching was significantly more effective. This information can help those working in the field to use the most effective methods to decrease preventable deaths.

Dr. Tessier’s current research is in the area of parent’s perceptions of risk for injury to their child. She is surveying parents of young children to find what they consider to be the most likely and most serious risks facing children. The results can guide efforts to educate parents on protective strategies to help keep their child safe.

She is active in the community in a variety of child health and safety projects, including child abuse prevention and child passenger safety. In 2007, Dr. Tessier was presented with the Champion Award by the Keiki Injury Prevention Coalition/Safe Kids Hawaii.

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