Protecting Your Children In Your Car


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PowerPoint Slideshow On Child Safety in Cars

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Protecting Your Children In Your Car

  1. 1. Protecting Your Children In Your Car Paul J. Komyatte Gilbert, Ollanik & Komyatte, P.C. 5400 Ward Rd., Bldg. IV, Suite 200 Arvada, CO 80002 © Paul J. Komyatte 2010
  3. 3. Non-traffic deaths/injuries <ul><li>E.g., backover: 50 children/week </li></ul>
  4. 4. Traffic Deaths/Injuries <ul><li>1400 deaths/year of kids 14 and younger </li></ul><ul><li>203,000 injuries </li></ul><ul><li>OVER 4 deaths & 500 injuries/day </li></ul><ul><li>source: NHTSA/CDC. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Children Historically Have Come Last <ul><li>Shoulder belts vs. lap-only belts </li></ul><ul><li>Middle seat lap-only belts </li></ul><ul><li>Front airbags </li></ul><ul><li>Adjustable upper (D-ring) anchorages </li></ul><ul><li>Side airbags, torso bags & side curtains </li></ul><ul><li>Child car seat design inadequate </li></ul><ul><li>Latch/Tethers </li></ul><ul><li>Booster seat usage inadequate </li></ul>
  6. 6. Children Historically Have Come Last <ul><li>The best restraints for kids are under-utilized </li></ul><ul><li>Rear seat restraints designed for adults </li></ul><ul><li>Restraint safety features, i.e. pretensioners, put in front but not the back. </li></ul><ul><li>Backover and frontover deaths </li></ul><ul><li>Power window deaths </li></ul>
  7. 7. Children Come Last – Shoulder Belts in Front but not in Back
  8. 8. Fixed Upper Anchor/ Ford Taurus Adjustable Upper Anchor/Dodge Durango Children Come Last – Adjustable Upper Anchors
  9. 9. Children Come Last – Airbags
  10. 10. Children Come Last – Side Bag, Torso Bags, Side Curtains <ul><li>Torso bags/Side curtains only in the front. </li></ul>
  11. 11. 1992 Chrysler Town & Country Interior Children Come Last – The Best Restraints Are Under-Utilized
  12. 12. Children Come Last – Booster Seat Gap Source
  13. 13. Children Come Last – Car Seats & Restraints
  14. 14. Infants at Risk <ul><li>Infant seats fail and break in accidents. </li></ul><ul><li>Infants are at risk from collapsing seatbacks. </li></ul>
  15. 15. Forward Facing Too Soon <ul><li>“ 1 year/20 pound ” advice outdated and misleading – yet continues to be given out. </li></ul>
  16. 16. MISLEADING AND OUTDATED! Source: 4StepsFlyer[1].pdf located @
  17. 17. Forward Facing Too Soon <ul><li>Infants and young children should remain rear facing as long as possible – up to 30 pounds or more. </li></ul><ul><li>Infants should use sturdy convertible seats earlier. </li></ul>
  18. 18. Example of a Quality Convertible Seat – Britax Boulevard (previously the Wizard) <ul><li>Rear facing up to 33 pounds. </li></ul><ul><li>Forward facing 5 point harness up to 60 pounds. </li></ul><ul><li>Side impact protection. </li></ul><ul><li>Easily adjustable shoulder harness slots. </li></ul>Source:
  19. 19. <ul><li>“ If a car safety seat accommodates children rear facing to higher weights . . . the child should remain rear facing until reaching the maximum weight for the car safety seat . . .” </li></ul><ul><li>“ pediatricians should counsel parents of most children . . . to encourage use of a convertible car safety seat that will accommodate them rear facing at higher weights .” </li></ul>American Association of Pediatrics Recommendations, March 2002
  20. 20. <ul><li>“ It is best for children to ride rear-facing to the highest weight or height allowed by the manufacturer, usually 30 pounds or more . . . ” </li></ul>American Association of Pediatrics Recommendations, 2007
  21. 21. <ul><li>“ A small child’s head represents a considerable part of its total weight and its neck is still very weak. Volvo recommends that children up to age 4 travel, properly restrained, facing rearward .” </li></ul>*Source: 2007 Volvo XC90 Owners Manual Volvo Cars of America Recommendation, 2007
  22. 22. <ul><li>“ Infants should remain rear facing until they are both 1 year old and weigh 22 pounds.” </li></ul>Contrast AAP/Volvo with Dorel/Cosco *Source:
  23. 23. Out Of The Five Point Harness Too Soon <ul><li>“40 pound” guideline for moving child into a booster is outdated and dangerous. </li></ul>
  24. 24. MISLEADING AND OUTDATED! Source: 4StepsFlyer[1].pdf located @
  25. 25. MISLEADING AND OUTDATED! Source: 4StepsFlyer[1].pdf located @
  26. 26. Out Of The Five Point Harness Too Soon <ul><li>New generation of seats accommodate children forward facing up to 80 pounds in a five point harness. </li></ul><ul><li>Larger children (40 to 80 pounds) are more safe in a five point harness than a booster seat. </li></ul><ul><li>There is a reason race car drivers use five point racing harnesses. </li></ul>
  27. 27. Example of a Quality Convertible Seat – Britax Boulevard (f/k/a the Wizard) <ul><li>Accommodates forward facing children in a 5 point harness up to 60 pounds. </li></ul><ul><li>Side impact protection. </li></ul><ul><li>Easily adjustable shoulder harnesss. </li></ul>Source:
  28. 28. Example of a Quality Forward Facing Five Point Harness for Larger Kids -- Britax Regent (f/k/a the Super Elite and Huskey) <ul><li>Accommodates children in a forward facing 5 point harness up to 80 pounds. </li></ul><ul><li>Design allows for ultra secure installation to vehicle. </li></ul><ul><li>Provides the protection of a 5 point harness for many, many years. </li></ul>Source:
  29. 29. Out Of A Booster Seat Too Soon <ul><li>Few kids are in boosters this long. </li></ul><ul><li>Even 4 feet 9 inches is too short for some seats. </li></ul><ul><li>Schools have done a poor job of encouraging boosters. </li></ul><ul><li>Upper grade school kids unprotected. </li></ul><ul><li>State laws inadequate and contradictory. </li></ul>
  30. 30. GOOD ADVICE! Source: 4StepsFlyer[1].pdf located @
  31. 31. Example of a Quality Booster Seat -- Britax Parkway <ul><li>Accommodates children up to 60 inches tall. </li></ul><ul><li>Ideal for larger children who have outgrown other boosters but still don’t fit quite right in certain vehicle seats. </li></ul><ul><li>Side impact protection. </li></ul><ul><li>Slot design allows for good belt fit. </li></ul><ul><li>Relatively light weight given all the features. </li></ul>Source:
  32. 32. Example of an Inadequate Child Restraint Law – Colorado* <ul><li>Requires children who are four years old but less than six years old and also less than 55 inches to be restrained in a booster seat or with a child belt-positioning device. </li></ul><ul><li>No booster protection required at age 6 regardless of height or age. </li></ul><ul><li>Inconsistent with NHTSA guideline of 8 years/57 inches. </li></ul>*C.R.S.A. § 42-4-236.
  33. 33. CO Child Restraint Law Lacking
  34. 34. BELT FIT “ Proper Fit” (according to numerous state statutes and defense experts)
  35. 35. Boosters Do Not Always Work <ul><li>Boosters require effective restraints. </li></ul><ul><li>Poor restraint design decreases booster effectiveness. </li></ul><ul><li>Boosters can increase injury numbers if restraint is poorly designed. </li></ul>Thus, the need for Shared Responsibility.
  36. 36. Best Child Restraint Practices <ul><li>Buy a good convertible seat – Britax Boulevard or equivalent. </li></ul><ul><li>Put infants in the convertible seat early on. </li></ul><ul><li>Rear facing as long as possible – up to 30 pounds or more and 3 or 4 years old. </li></ul><ul><li>Keep children in forward facing 5 point harness as long as possible -- up to 80 pounds or 53 inches. </li></ul><ul><li>Move to a booster only after outgrowing the 5 point. </li></ul><ul><li>Use the booster until your child is at least 57 inches and even up to 60 inches in certain seats. </li></ul><ul><li>Be aware of rear seat design issues (i.e., buckle webbing design, adjustable upper anchors, pretensioners, etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>NEVER let your child ride in a lap-only restraint – way too many parents and caregivers continue to do this. </li></ul>
  37. 37. Government Neglect <ul><li>No performance requirement for rear seat restraints. </li></ul><ul><li>No requirement to test with child dummies. </li></ul><ul><li>Delay in requiring latch/tether anchors. </li></ul>
  38. 38. Manufacturer Neglect <ul><li>Failure to test and recommend specific child car seats. </li></ul><ul><li>Delay in installing tether anchors until (finally) required by government in 2002. </li></ul><ul><li>Few integrated restraints/boosters </li></ul><ul><li>Failure to test and recommend specific booster seats. </li></ul>
  40. 40. <ul><li>Inadequate testing with child dummies. </li></ul><ul><li>Inadequate consideration of child restraint safety. </li></ul>Manufacturer Neglect Mercedes-Benz – Crash testing With Child Dummies
  41. 41. What Manufacturers Say Is Often At Odds With What They Do Source: Ford web site (as of August 2007).
  42. 42. Manufacturer Neglect – Rear Seat Restraints Often Don’t Work for Kids (“Forgotten Children”) Shoulder belt cuts across the child’s neck, which encourages improper use, such as wearing the belt behind the back, and can also lead to injuries. Failure to recess the buckles leads to poor lap belt geometry, in which the lap belt rides too high into the abdomen area, leading to serious injuries.
  43. 43. Long webbing on the buckle - promotes poor lap belt fit on children Recessed buckle – promotes a better lap belt fit on children Manufacturer Neglect – Failure to Use Recessed Buckles in Rear Seats
  44. 44. Manufacturer Neglect – Failure To Use Known, Feasible Alternative Designs <ul><li>Rear Seat Pretensioners </li></ul><ul><li>Web Clamps </li></ul><ul><li>Recessed buckles </li></ul><ul><li>Adjustable upper anchors </li></ul><ul><li>Integrated seats/Booster cushions </li></ul>
  45. 45. Manufacturer Neglect – Car Seats <ul><li>Junk Infant Seats </li></ul><ul><li>Failure to encourage rear facing longer </li></ul><ul><li>Failure to encourage 5 pt. use longer </li></ul>
  46. 46. Example of Manufacturer Neglect <ul><li>Poor warnings and instructions. </li></ul>
  48. 48. Drive Safely!