Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Health & Parenting

Font Size

Protecting Kids in Side-Impact Car Crashes

Seating Strategies May Make a Difference, Studies Show
By
WebMD Health News

Sept. 13, 2005 -- New research shows that kids' seating arrangements in cars could affect their chances of injury in side-impact car crashes.

"Side impacts are the second most common fatal crash type after frontal crashes and require focused attention from the safety community," says Kristy Arbogast, PhD, in a news release.

The findings include:

  • Lower injury risk for kids aged 4 to 8 in belt-positioning booster seats (especially high-backed models).
  • Lower injury risk for kids aged 4 to 15 sitting with other children in a vehicle's rear row (and wearing seatbelts).

The data come from researchers including Arbogast, the associate director of field engineering for TraumaLink, a comprehensive pediatric trauma research center at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and the University of Pennsylvania.

The studies were presented in Boston at the 49th Annual Scientific Conference of the Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine.

Booster Seat Study

Belt-positioning booster seats for kids aged 4 to 8 were one of Arbogast's topics.

Kids in belt-positioning booster seats were 58% less likely to be injured in a side-impact crash, compared with kids wearing seatbelts who weren't in booster seats, the researchers say.

That's similar to their previous findings, Arbogast and colleagues note.

Children in booster seats were found to be less likely to have head and facial injuries, as well as injuries to the abdomen and spine, which the researchers call "seat belt syndrome."

Booster Seat Type

High-back booster seats showed a bigger drop (70%) in injury risk in children aged 4 to 8. Backless booster seats didn't show a significant injury reduction advantage over seat belts alone, the researchers note.

Arbogast and colleagues suggest two possible reasons: the seats' designs and not using the shoulder belt positioner on backless booster seats. The positioner is attached to the seat's bottom by a strap of webbing, the researchers say.

The differences in results for the two seat types should be viewed with caution, write the researchers. Their study didn't include large numbers of affected children -- especially those in backless booster seats. That leaves room for some uncertainty, which should be addressed in future research, note the researchers.

Today on WebMD

Girl holding up card with BMI written
Is your child at a healthy weight?
toddler climbing
What happens in your child’s second year.
 
father and son with laundry basket
Get your kids to help around the house.
boy frowning at brocolli
Tips for dealing with mealtime mayhem
 
mother and daughter talking
Tool
child brushing his teeth
Slideshow
 
Sipping hot tea
Slideshow
Young woman holding lip at dentists office
Video
 
6-Week Challenges
Want to know more?
Chill Out and Charge Up Challenge – How to help your tribe de-stress and energize.
Spark Change Challenge - Ready for a healthy change? Get some major motivation.
I have read and agreed to WebMD's Privacy Policy.
Enter cell phone number
- -
Entering your cell phone number and pressing submit indicates you agree to receive text messages from WebMD related to this challenge. WebMD is utilizing a 3rd party vendor, CellTrust, to provide the messages. You can opt out at any time.
Standard text rates apply
Which Vaccines Do Adults Need
Article
rl with friends
fitSlideshow
 
tissue box
Quiz
Child with adhd
Slideshow