All boosters are not created equally, according to a recent report by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) that rates the belt fit of many booster models. A booster should route the lap belt flat across a child’s upper thighs, position the shoulder belt at mid-shoulder, and consistently fit this way in a variety of vehicles. The IIHS has revised its evaluation system since its prior report from 2008.
An analysis of Partners for CPS (PCPS) data reaffirms that boosters are an important step in providing protection to child passengers. The research input was more complete than previously published studies, and the results still prove that belt-positioning booster (BPB) use is more protective than seat belts alone. Children ages 4 to 8 using BPBs were 45 percent less likely to sustain injuries than those using just the vehicle seat belt.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has released the updated clinical report, “Safe Transportation of Preterm and Low Birth Weight Infants at Hospital Discharge.” The report is the result of a lengthy and thorough analysis and review process headed by Marilyn J. Bull, MD, and William A. Engle, MD. The new clinical report replaces the policy statement on this subject that had been in effect since 1996. The AAP added the clinical report classification sometime after the prior policy statement was issued. With this update, it was determined that the document better suited the definition of a clinical report (“guidance for the clinician in rendering pediatric care”), so it was reclassified.
The history of CPS stretches back about 40 years, including the institution of the first CR standard in 1972, the dynamic testing standard in 1981, the passage of legislation in all states by 1985, and community education efforts. This article, by long time CPS professional Joe Colella, chronicles the past 15 years, encompassing issues such as compatibility, booster use, and national training that still are evolving today. For more detail, go to www.saferidenews.com to view a chronological timeline of CPS events*.
1965: Physicians for Automotive Safety formed, pickets NY Auto Show, protests lack of occupant protection.
1971: Physicians for Automotive Safety publishes first pamphlet on child passenger protection, “Don’t Risk Your Child’s Life” (updated frequently to present).
1968: First child restraints designed for crash protection developed by Ford (Tot-Guard) and General Motors (Love Seat for toddlers). Followed soon thereafter by the GM Infant Love Seat (first rear-facing only restraint) and the Bobby Mac convertible seat (used both rear-facing and forward facing).
The problem of head restraints (HRs) interfering with CR installation seems to be growing because HR design improvements for non-CR passengers can actually be at odds with CR installation ease. Injury reduction is more effective when the HR is closer to the back of the head, so the trend is for HR designs to protrude further into the seating area – sometimes preventing the back of a forward-facing CR from being aligned with the seatback. Unfortunately, this mismatch coincides with an increased use of high-weight harness (HWH) seats and higher-backed boosters, which are taller and much more likely to reach the height of the HR.
(a) As used in this section, “child passenger restraint system” means a system as described in Section 27360 of the Vehicle Code.
(b) Every policy of automobile liability insurance, as described in Section 16054 of the Vehicle Code, shall provide liability coverage for replacement of a child passenger restraint system that was damaged or was in use by a child during an accident for which liability coverage under the policy is applicable due to the liability of an insured.
Children from birth through age 3 seated in the center rear have a 43 percent lower risk of injury than those in rear-seat side positions, according to a recently published analysis of data from the Partners for Child Passenger Safety (PCPS) project of The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP).
Why should my child ride in the center?
A national study of actual crashes shows that a child in the center has about half the likelihood of being injured, compared to a child on either side. The center position is farthest from any point of impact.