1993-11-01

Injury Patterns of Older Children in Automotive Accidents 933082

A study of injury patterns of older children (aged 6-12 years) indicates that they may deserve more attention from automotive safety researchers. Although older children represent 43.1% of child occupants involved in accidents taken from the National Accident Sampling System (NASS) database, they receive 55.4% of the injuries suffered by children. A lower restraint usage rate (56.2% compared to 63.4% for younger children) partly accounts for this disproportionate amount of injury. However, when restrained, fewer older children remain uninjured compared to younger children (62.8% vs. 70.8%). The number of older children receiving injuries decreases with restraint use (63.6% injured for unrestrained vs. 37.5% injured for restrained). When comparing injuries to restrained and unrestrained older children, the injuries are generally the same severities, but restraints lead to higher proportions of pelvis/abdomen injuries while reducing the occurrence of whole body injuries. Additional analysis of injury patterns for older children when grouped by minor and serious injuries helps to show areas of potential improvement for each class of injury.

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