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Child Safety Seats And Lap-and-shoulder Belts Effective In Preventing Serious Injury, Study Suggests

Date:
September 8, 2008
Source:
Wiley-Blackwell
Summary:
Study reveals that lap-and-shoulder seat belts perform as well as child safety seats in preventing serious injury. For young children, all states currently require the use of child safety seats, and the minimum age and weight requirements to graduate to seat belts has been increasing over time. A new study reveals that lap-and-shoulder seat belts perform as well as child safety seats in preventing serious injury.

For young children, all states currently require the use of child safety seats, and the minimum age and weight requirements to graduate to seat belts has been increasing over time.

A new study reveals that lap-and-shoulder seat belts perform as well as child safety seats in preventing serious injury. However, safety seats tend to be better at reducing less serious injuries.

Steven D. Levitt of theUniversity of Chicago and author of the book Freakonomics and Joseph J. Doyle of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology analyzed three large representative samples of crashes reported to the police, as well as linked hospital data, among motor vehicle passengers aged 2-6 years of age. Researchers used the data to compare seat belts and child safety seats in preventing injury.

Results show that lap-and-shoulder seat belts perform as well as child safety seats in preventing serious injury. Safety seats were associated with a statistically significant 25 percent reduction in less serious injuries. Lap belts are somewhat less effective than the other two types of restraints, but far superior to riding unrestrained.

“Our comparisons across restraint types incorporate the way they are used, or misused, in practice,” the authors conclude. “Because many child safety seats are, in actual use, improperly installed, our estimates are likely to understate the benefits associated with their proper use. From a public policy perspective, however, understanding how safety devices work in practice, as opposed to under ideal circumstances, is of great importance.”


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wiley-Blackwell. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Joseph J. Doyle Jr and Steven D. Levitt. Evaluating the effectiveness of child safety seats and seat belts in protecting children from injury. Economic Inquiry, Online 21 Aug 2008 [link]

Cite This Page:

Wiley-Blackwell. "Child Safety Seats And Lap-and-shoulder Belts Effective In Preventing Serious Injury, Study Suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 September 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080904151633.htm>.
Wiley-Blackwell. (2008, September 8). Child Safety Seats And Lap-and-shoulder Belts Effective In Preventing Serious Injury, Study Suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080904151633.htm
Wiley-Blackwell. "Child Safety Seats And Lap-and-shoulder Belts Effective In Preventing Serious Injury, Study Suggests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080904151633.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

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