Monday, June 3, 2013

Other Useful Child Passenger Safety Information

Other (Many of these have sensational titles but they contain some useful information)

Crash data shows that children ages 12 and under are safest when riding in the back seat correctly restrained in a child safety seat or safety belt.

Children under age 12 should ride in the backseat to prevent airbag injuries and fatalities. The airbag deploys in an angle that will injure or kill a child, so if your child must ride in front, be sure you have an airbag turnoff switch.(x)

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, “Car crashes are the number one killer of children 1 to 12 years old in the United States. The best way to protect them in the car is to put them in the right seat, at the right time, and use it the right way.” 

According to the Center for Health Statistics, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for children of every age from 3 to 14 years old. For those aged 5–34 in the United States, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death, claiming the lives of 18,266 Americans each year. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) (x)

Here's an infographic illustrating it: link
Less children die by falling, suffocating, poisoning, and drowning than die by car accidents.

This article is a little sad (not morbid), but a good wake up call about the dangers of any objects in the car that can quickly become a projectile in a car accident.  It suggests buckling in your purse and water bottle or stowing those items in a center console if you have one. "In our child seat safety class we took at Henrico Doctor’s Hospital, we were told to avoid many “parenting” things that can quickly become dangerous projectiles:  stick-on window shades, mirrors (the ones that strap onto the headrest are better), the clip on rear view mirrors, sippy cups, and toy bars.  All items should be secured in the vehicle at all times." (x)

NZTA advertising campaign that targets everyday drivers and their passengers. Not the speedsters or hoons who recklessly drive at excessive speeds, but the people whose vehicle speed tends to creep above the limit at a level where they still consider themselves to be driving safely.This advertisement encourages the audience to consider aspects of a crash that they may not have considered before: that even with the best protection, you are still vulnerable. We want them to consider that the best way to stay safe is to control the way they drive.

A car crash really involves three crashes (car striking object, person striking interior of vehicle [airbag/sealtbelt/etc], and internal organs striking body). The video illustrates why 'projectiles' like drinks, groceries, booster seats, etc. need to be secured properly so that they don't cause injuries or death in the case of a crash.

PA TECHS - Dangerous Projectiles - YouTube


A belted adult cannot protect a child during a collision. A crash impact can pull an infant from an 

adult’s arms with a force of 300 pounds or more. Infants and young children should ride in child 

safety seats on every trip they take (x)

In an accident light items become heavy from the force. In the case of a baby held by a person , which the video simulates, the person won't be able to keep hold of the baby and the baby will just keep going forward.

9. Can your baby ride on someone’s lap for short trips? No. Infants and children are never safe riding in another passenger’s lap. Most crashes happen close to home and at low speeds, not during long trips. 

10. Is it okay to buckle two people in the same safety belt? Never double-buckle. Buckling two children in one belt isn’t safe.  
Their heads can strike one another at the speed the vehicle was traveling during a crash, causing serious injuryor death. A child riding on an adult’s lap could be crushedby the magnified force of the adult’s body which equals more than one ton of force at just 30 mph.

1) BUCKLE ALL THE TIME a. Secure unused child restraints–especially boosters as they are loose when child is not in it. Teach your child to buckle the booster upon leaving car.b. Make sure unused shoulder belts are not in reach of children as they can pose strangulation risk.c. Seatbelts are not for play, especially, Automatic seatbelts, as they can cause strangulation. 
2) ELIMINATE PROJECTILES Anything in the car that is not secured is a possible projectile. In a crash, object takes on greater weight due to crash forces. This “new weight” can be calculated by multiplying the weight of object by the car’s speed at impact; a 5 lb. box at 25 MPH becomes a 125 lb. projectile. 
a. Store all groceries, equipment, toys, etc. in trunk of car or behind last passenger seat 
b. Use “crash tested” gear in car only if necessary. (baby mirrors, shade (the cling film ones are the only ones safe to use), etc.) 
c. Store tethers on CRS properly so they don’t become a projectiles in a crash. 
d. Pets require vehicle restraints. (35 lb. pet @ 45 mph becomes a lethal 1,575 lb. projectile in a crash.)

Harness Straps: Straps need to be about as tight as you can get them without hurting the child. Try The Pinch Test each time you buckle your kiddo in, just to be sure.
Risk: Loose straps do not hold the child in the seat. They can be partially ejected, which can damage any part of their body that is caught, or totally ejected and fly into the window, seats, another person or out of the car entirely. This is the most common mistake. 

Harness Height: For rear-facing, the straps must be AT OR BELOW the shoulders. For forward-facing, AT OR ABOVE. You may put a popsicle stick or butter knife in the slot to test, since sometimes the covers can make it hard to tell where the slot is in the shell.
Risk: When rear-facing, any additional space above the shoulders works similarly to having a loose harness — it’s dangerous extra room. Also, when hit head-on (as with 79%) of accidents, you want to prevent the child’s body from flying upwards against the back of the seat, but instead allow the seat to take the impact. Only having the straps below the shoulders keeps the child safely in place.

11 DEADLY mistakes you didn't know you were making!

The chest clip is designed to keep the harness straps properly positioned on the child’s shoulders; this is important because the harness is the component that keeps the child restrained in the car seat. A study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) showed that 59% of child harnesses are not tight enough. If the harness is loose and the chest clip is too low, one or both harness straps can slide off the child’s shoulders, allowing the child to potentially be ejected from the car seat in the event of a crash.
In a collision, the chest clip can cause damage and/or internal bleeding to vital organs in your child's abdominal region, which is not protected by the ribcage.

"My parents did it and I lived"
You're right...congrats. Now, tell me how many people in the world cannot say that because...well, they aren't alive to say it. There are people who can say that they swam in shark-infested waters with steaks tied around their extremities and they lived...but I don't think I'd recommend it for everyone else to do.

Why is a snug harness important? A study released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) revealed that 59% of child harnesses were too loose. Loose harness straps leave your child vulnerable to injury during a crash because they may allow your child to move out of position; they can even lead to ejection from the child seat during a crash.
"I know what's best for my child!"
^If I had a penny for every time I have heard that...I'd have lots and lots of pennies.
Oh and don't worry if you are one of "those moms." I've been there! This is my son when he was 2 1/2 and this is right before his 5th birthday (he's playing around in his sister's car seat-he is actually FF in a Recaro ProSport) This is my daughter 2 months after her 4th birthday And this is her now, 2 months shy of 7 years old.. It's hard looking back and seeing just how horribly they were restrained (or not) in seats...and knowing that had I gotten into any sort of significant accident, chances are, they would not be here today.
"When you know better, you do better"

Rule #7: Coats Are Not Allowed
A cop reports seeing a coat strapped into a seat, even after the child who had been wearing it flew out of it. Coats are not safe in car seats and almost all manufacturers have this rule in their manual as well. To understand why, place your child in a coat and put them in their seat and tighten the straps properly. Without loosening the straps, remove your child and remove their coat. Now place them back in the seat. That is how much room your child would have once the coat compressed under pressure, much like how you can squish a pillow if you sit on it. If there is more than a tiny bit of extra slack (like the difference between sweatpants and stretch pants), the coat is too bulky. Instead, try taking your child's coat off right before putting them in the seat, buckling them in quickly, and then putting their coat back on them backward. I also keep blankets in my car for safety in case I'm stranded, as well as for the kids to use in winter. I even just bought two patterns of the Kid Snuggie ($14.99 to $26.99) at Toys R Us for both of my children to use while in the car, or you can buy a car seat poncho.

Winter Coats & Car Seats Don't Mix

A good, explanatory video. The only issue is that she's doing the pinch test wrong. 

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among children ages 3 to 14.
Correctly used child safety seats are extremely effective and reduce the risk of death as much as 71%. 
Nearly 73% of child restraints are not installed or used correctly. 
Nearly half of kids 14 and under who died in crashes were completely unrestrained.

Front air bags are located in the steering wheel to protect the driver, and in the dashboard of most cars to protect passengers. Front air bags are not designed to protect vehicle occupants in side and rear impact or rollover collisions. Because air bags (and seat belts) were designed to protect average-sized adult males and NOT children, they can be extremely dangerous to infants or young children seated in front of them. According to research conducted by CHOP, children exposed to air bags during a crash are twice as likely to suffer a serious injury. 
Children younger than 13 years are safest when placed in the back seat of a vehicle, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Other air bag safety rules to follow include: 
Never place an infant in a rear-facing child safety seat in the front seat with an air bag. In a crash, the air bag comes out of the dashboard with its force directed at the back of the infant's head if riding in the front passenger seat. 
The rear seat is the safest place in the car for children younger than 13 years. If you don’t have enough room in the back of your car to safely transport the number of children who need to travel safely, please visit a car seat check in your area where a trained expert will help evaluate your situation. You may need to arrange to use a safer vehicle with enough back seat positions to keep all the kids safe.
All passengers ages 13 and older need to wear a lap and shoulder belt when riding in the front seat. Air bags are designed to work with the lap and shoulder belt to protect the occupant in the event of a crash.

 Being that the leading cause of death in children over the age of three is motor vehicle collisions, parents should do everything possible to get their kids to buckle up and to keep smaller children from sitting in the deathtrap otherwise known as the front seat. 
In almost every category, black and Hispanic children fared the worst. Most strikingly, the proportion of infants and toddlers who were not restrained at all was ten times greater in minority populations.  
Only 3 percent of children aged 1-3 were in rear-facing car seats, and only 2 percent of children over 7 remained in booster seats. The rest were upgraded prematurely: the AAP recommendations stipulate that children should remain rear-facing until at least age 2 and basically for as long as they fit in the car seat, and that they should remain in booster seats until around age 11. 
Having more kids in the car was associated with less seatbelt use, although they were more likely to stay in the back seat.  
When the driver wasn't wearing a seatbelt, children had 23 times higher odds of not being buckled in.

Materials deteriorate over time, especially plastic. Ever left a plastic toy shovel in the sun and see how it gets bleached, becomes brittle, or even cracked? The plastic that makes up your seat will do the same and weaken over time, especially if left in hot or very cold cars. Even in the best conditions, plastic just doesn't have a great lifespan. The harness can also develop elasticity that could allow more movement of your child's body than is safe, even when they're buckled in right. So car seat manufacturers take into account the average use and put that to the test to see approximately how much deterioration a seat can handle before it might have flaws that could risk your child's life.

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