Pediatric occupants, restraint use, and injuries in motor vehicle crashes - biomed 2011

Biomed Sci Instrum. 2011;47:94-9.


Pediatric occupants are vulnerable in motor vehicle crashes (MVCs), and alternative restraints have been developed for their protection. This study sought to characterize injuries in MVCs for pediatric occupants and to identify scenarios that may benefit from enhanced vehicle safety. Using the NASS-CDS database (2000-2008), pediatric occupants (< 19 yr old) were characterized by their age and injuries to look at national averages in MVCs. There were over 14 million pediatric injuries and non-injured occupants in weighted NASS-CDS (out of over 70 million total). Of these pediatric cases, 60% sustained injuries, which was comparable to the percentage of all occupants injured (65%). Six percent of NASS-CDS pediatric occupants had AIS 2+ injuries, which is the injury inclusion criteria for CIREN pediatric cases. CIREN was used to investigate pediatric occupants and injuries resulting from incorrect positioning and restraints according to NHTSA suggestions. Results indicated that many injured pediatric occupants were not properly restrained, with over 100 in the front row of the vehicle under 13 years of age. There were also over 200 CIREN pediatric occupants under 4’ 9” that were not seated in a child safety seat (CSS). The most frequently injured body region was the face, followed by the head and lower extremity. Eighty-six percent of head injuries and 82% of spinal injuries were AIS 2+. This study supports prior findings that demonstrate a need for enhanced public awareness for proper CSS use to reduce pediatric injuries in the future.