Expert on Pediatrics


Related Papers and Presentations

Study of Seat System Performance Related to Injury of Rear Seated Children & Infants in Rear Impacts, IMECE Conference

Since 1996 the NHTSA has warned of the airbag deployment injury risk to front seated children and infants, during frontal impact, and they have recommended that children be placed in the rear seating areas of motor vehicles. However, during most rear impacts the adult occupied front seats will collapse into the rear occupant area and, as such, pose another potentially serious injury risk to the rear seated children and infants who are located on rear seats that are not likely to collapse. Also, in the case of higher speed rear impacts, intrusion of the occupant compartment may cause the child to be shoved forward into the rearward collapsing front seat occupant thereby increasing impact forces to the trapped child. This study summarizes the results of more than a dozen actual accident cases involving over 2-dozen rear-seated children, where 7 children received fatal injuries, and the others received ranging from severely disabling to minor injury. Types of injuries include, among others: crushed skulls and brain damage; ruptured hearts; broken and bruised legs; and death by post-crash fires when the children became entrapped behind collapsed front seat systems. Several rear-impact crash tests, utilizing sled-bucks and vehicle-to-vehicle tests, are used to examine the effects of front seat strength and various types of child restraint systems, such as booster seats and child restraint seats (both forward and rearward facing), in relation to injury potential of rear seated children and infants. The tests utilized sedan and minivan type vehicles that were subjected to speed changes ranging from about 20 to 50 kph (12 to 30 mph), with an average G level per speed change of about 9 to 15. The results indicate that children and infants seated behind a collapsing driver seat, even in low severity rear impacts of less than 25 kph, encounter a high risk of serious or fatal injury, whether or not rear intrusion takes place. Children seated in other rear seat positions away from significant front seat collapse, such as behind the stronger "belt-integrated" types of front seats or rearward but in between occupied collapsing front seat positions, are less likely to be as seriously injured.

Biomechanical Analysis of Child Restraint System, Rocky Mountain Bioengineering Symposium & International ISA Biomedical Sciences Instrumentation Symposium

The purpose of the study is to test the hypothesis that potential for the head injury to child occupants is reduced with energy absorbing foam in a rear facing restraint system. The traffic safety of the pediatric population is improved with the child restraint system. However, the child restraint is effective only if advanced protective features are incorporated. One of the protective features is the energy absorbing padding on the side wings of the child seat wherein the child would interact during the crash. A hybrid computer model of the child restraint system was developed using the commercially available MADYMO and LS-DYNA software. A rear facing child seat in the rear compartment of the vehicle was simulated. The 9 months old anthropometric dummy was modeled. The dummy was restrained in the child seat and the child seat was restrained using the lap and shoulder harness. Two computer models with and without the padding on the side wing were simulated. The input included the acceleration at the center of gravity of the vehicle and the door intrusion into the vehicular interior and the child restraint system. Results indicate that the lack of padding allowed the child’s head to interact with the side wing in a concentrated manner while the padding allowed distributed contact to the head area. The padding also retained the head within the confines of the child seat with no exposure to outside environment. The head injury parameters (Head Injury Criteria and Angular Acceleration) were reduced two to three times due to padding on the extended side wing. The present study is an additional step towards a better understanding of the injury biomechanics of pediatric population involved in motor vehicle crashes.


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