Sunday, September 28, 2008
Center Seat Is Safest
Position Child Safety Seats in Center of Back Seat to Reduce Risk of Injury by 43 Percent
by David Gutierrez
(NaturalNews) Children whose car seats are positioned in the middle of the back seat are 43 percent less likely to be injured in the incident of a car crash than children whose car seats are positioned on the side of the car, according to a study conducted by researchers from the University of Pennsylvania and Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and published in the journal Pediatrics.
"The most important thing is to restrain your child," researcher Dennis Durbin said. "The second-most important thing is to restrain them in the rear seat. The third is to put them in the right restraint for their age. If you do those things, you have a risk of injury in the one to two per thousand range.''
Researchers reviewed data from 4,790 automobile collisions in 16 states between the years of 1998 and 2006 involving children under the age of three. Although these children were 43 percent less likely to be injured if their car seat was secured in the center of the back seat, only 28 percent of car seats were so positioned. In 41 percent of collisions, the car seat was on the right-hand side, while 31 percent were on the left side.
The researchers believe that the center position is safer in part due to better protection in case of side-impact collisions. Yet it is harder to strap a child into that seat, and may be more difficult to fit other passengers in back with a car seat in the center.
While the center position is already recommended for car seats, low compliance shows that more encouragement is needed, the researchers said.
"Recommendations should continue to encourage families to install child-restraint systems in the center of the rear seat," they wrote.
The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia maintains a Web site, www.chop.edu/carseat, where parents can get information on properly installing car seats. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has an online database of child safety seat inspection stations at http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/cps/cpsfitting....
Sources for this story include: www.reuters.com, www.bloomberg.com.