Comparison of motor vehicle occupant injuries in restrained and unrestrained 4- to 14-year-olds

Accid Anal Prev. 1992 Aug;24(4):349-55. doi: 10.1016/0001-4575(92)90047-m.


This study compares injuries of restrained and unrestrained 4- to 14-year-olds in nine emergency rooms and the Coroner's office in Orange County, California from 1983 to 1989. Analyses were performed separately for 4- to 9- and 10- to 14-year-olds because of differences related to the fit of the seat belt. Significantly fewer intracranial injuries and a significantly lower mean Injury Severity Score (ISS) were seen between the restrained and unrestrained for 10- to 14-year-olds in the front passenger and back seats; but for 4- to 9-year-olds in the back seat only. These same differences were noted between restrained 4- to 9-year-olds in the back compared with those in the front passenger seat. Except for 4- to 9-year-olds in the front passenger seat, our findings are consistent with similar studies of occupants of all ages. Our results suggest that lap-shoulder belts (primary restraint in front seat) may provide less protection for 4- to 9-year-olds than for 10- to 14-year-olds and adults.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Traffic
  • Adolescent
  • Age Factors
  • Brain Injuries / epidemiology
  • California / epidemiology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Humans
  • Injury Severity Score*
  • Seat Belts*
  • Wounds and Injuries / classification*
  • Wounds and Injuries / epidemiology