Researchers at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia will presenttoday a series of findings aimed at enhancing protection for childrenin side-impact car crashes at the Scientific Conference of theAssociation for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine (AAAM). Thefindings demonstrate that children fare better in side-impact crashesif they are restrained and if they are seated with other occupants inthe back seat, and they emphasize the protective benefits of high backbooster seats in these crashes for 4-to 8-year-olds.
The original findings are based on real-world crash data fromPartners for Child Passenger Safety (PCPS), a research partnership ofChildren's Hospital and State Farm Insurance Companies. In addition tothe new findings, PCPS research being presented at the conferenceconfirms that children riding in passenger cars and light truckvehicles, such as SUVs, are at increased risk of injury in aside-impact crash when their vehicle is struck by a light truck.
"Side impacts are the second most common fatal crash type after frontalcrashes and require focused attention from the safety community," saysKristy Arbogast, Ph.D., Associate Director of Field Engineering,TraumaLink, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. "Most importantly,we need to focus on the most vulnerable occupants-- children."
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration(NHTSA), 42 percent of child fatalities to rear-seated children ages 0to 8 years occur in side-impact collisions. Overall, side-impactcrashes kill about 300 American children under age 8 each year andresult in more severe injuries at lower crash severities than frontalcollisions.
The Children's Hospital researchers hope the new findings provide NHTSAand the auto industry with information that can be used to enhanceperformance testing and safety design that take into account the uniquesafety needs of child occupants. The recently passed SAFETEA (Safe,Accountable, Flexible, and Efficient Transportation Equity) Act of 2005requires NHTSA to upgrade its side-impact standard by July 1, 2008.
"In addition to providing new insights into child occupant safety inside-impact crashes, our findings demonstrate the effectiveness ofusing age- and size- appropriate restraints and rear seating inpreventing injuries in this crash direction," said Kristy Arbogast."Correct restraint use and rear-seating for children, this is themessage we need to convey to parents."
Key findings from the PCPS research study that were presented at the AAAM Conference:
"Effectiveness of High Back and Backless Belt-Positioning Booster Seats in Side impact crashes"
"Effect of Increased Rear Row Occupancy on Injury to Seat Belt Restrained Children in Side impact Crashes"
"Effect of Vehicle Incompatibility on Child Occupant Injury Risk"
For more information about safe practices for restraining children whentraveling in a motor vehicle, including interactive videos on how tochoose and install a child safety seat, visit www.chop.edu/carseat.
About Partners for Child Passenger Safety
Partners for Child Passenger Safety is a research collaboration betweenThe Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and State Farm. As of February2005, PCPS has created a database containing information on more than377,000 crashes involving more than 557,000 children from birth throughage 15 years. It is the largest source of data on children in motorvehicle crashes. PCPS is based at The Children's Hospital ofPhiladelphia and is funded by State Farm. For more information, visit www.chop.edu/carseat.
About The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia was founded in 1855 as thenation's first pediatric hospital. Through its long-standing commitmentto providing exceptional patient care, training new generations ofpediatric healthcare professionals and pioneering major researchinitiatives, Children's Hospital has fostered many discoveries thathave benefited children worldwide. Its pediatric research program isamong the largest in the country, ranking second in National Institutesof Health funding. In addition, its unique family-centered care andpublic service programs have brought the 430-bed hospital recognitionas a leading advocate for children and adolescents. For moreinformation, visit www.chop.edu.
Materials provided by Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.
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