Sudden Infant Death Can Occur in Child Seats, esp When Not In Car and Adult Asleep

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Jeffrey Colvin, MD, JDDepartment of PediatricsChildren's Mercy HospitalKansas City, MO 64111

Dr. Colvin

Jeffrey Colvin, MD, JD
Department of Pediatrics
Children’s Mercy Hospital
Kansas City, MO 64111 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Prior studies have found that infants spend an average of 5-6 hours a day in sitting devices. Sitting devices include car seats, swings, infant seats, and strollers.

Given how much time infants are spending in sitting devices, we wanted to know if sleep-related infant deaths (such as Sudden Infant Death Syndrome or “SIDS”) was occurring in those devices. We examined over 10,000 infant sleep-related deaths from 45 states. We found that 3% (or 348) of the deaths occurred in sitting devices. Two-thirds of the deaths in sitting devices were in car seats. What was most surprising was that less than 10% of the deaths in car seats occurred in cars. Instead, the great majority occurred in the child’s home or the home of a relative, friend, or babysitter. In 1/3 of the deaths in car seats, the supervising adult was asleep.  Continue reading

Do Rear-Facing Car Seats Protect Children From Rear Crashes?

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Julie Mansfield straps a doll into a car seat. Rear-facing car seats are known to protect children in front and side impact crashes, but are rarely discussed in terms of rear-impact collisions. In a new study, researchers at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center explored the effectiveness of rear-facing car seats in rear-impact accidents by conducting crash tests with different car seat types and features.

Julie Mansfield straps a doll into a car seat. Rear-facing car seats are known to protect children in front and side impact crashes, but are rarely discussed in terms of rear-impact collisions. In a new study, researchers at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center explored the effectiveness of rear-facing car seats in rear-impact accidents by conducting crash tests with different car seat types and features . It is important to make sure what the impact would be if someone was in a car accident. Accidents do, unfortunately, happen. If the seat you’re isn’t up to the right standards then you could be putting your child at greater risk! Regardless whether you’re in your car or in an Uber, if you find yourself needing help in the case your child seat gives way in the event of an incident with Uber then looking into a uber accident attorney is the next step. Like wise, if you’re on your own in you car, you are going to want to contact the manufacturer of the seat for further information and see if you’re entitle to compensation. Which is why it is a good idea to make sure that you have the right sort of car insurance for you and your car. You can compare car insurance here if you are unsure about what you can get.

Julie Mansfield, Lead author
Research engineer
Injury Biomechanics Research Center
Ohio State College of Medicine

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Parents and caregivers often understand that a rear-facing car seat will support the head, neck, and spine during frontal impacts. In frontal impacts, the child will simply be cradled and supported by the shell of the car seat as crash forces “pull” the child toward the front of the vehicle. However, caregivers often ask how a rear-facing car seat would work if the vehicle is struck from behind. In that case, crash forces might “pull” the occupant toward the rear of the vehicle. In this case, they wonder whether the head and neck of the rear-facing child would be supported.

Injuries to children in rear impact crashes are fairly rare. However, we wanted to run some crash tests so we could see exactly what was happening in these scenarios. With these data, we can better explain to caregivers how rear-facing car seats work in this type of crash.

We exposed four different models of rear-facing car seats to a moderate severity rear-impact crash pulse. All were installed on a recent model year vehicle seat. We used crash test dummies representing a one-year-old child and a three-year-old child.

We found that the rear-facing car seats protected the crash test dummy well when exposed to a typical rear impact. The car seats supported the child throughout the crash and still did their job to keep the head, neck, and spine aligned. A lot of the crash energy was absorbed through the car seat interacting with the vehicle seat, so that reduced the amount of energy transferred into the occupant. This is important in preventing injuries. Continue reading