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Kids, Car Accidents, Child Restraint Systems: The Yale Study

Findings from the Yale School of Medicine that will be presented at the upcoming Pediatric Academic Societies meeting in Denver might reasonably be expected to focus on the rather erudite and clinically centered information that customarily features at such peer gatherings.

Instead, they will focus on infants and young children wriggling about in the back seats of vehicles, free from the child seats that are intended to safely restrain them and, because of that, more likely to suffer injury or death in a car accident.

The findings from Yale researchers reflect the strong ingenuity possessed by even society's tiniest members, as well as serve to warn that parents need to pay more attention to defects in what most of them regard as a fail-safe mechanism.

Quite simply, very young children routinely escape from child car seats. In the Yale study, which involved a survey of hundreds of parents, evidence collected by researchers indicated that about half of all children can escape their buckled restraints by the age of four. Some can even do so before their first birthday.

Study analysts cite the obvious disconnect at work in those numbers, namely, that while many kids can physically unbuckle a restraint, they may still be years away from understanding the potential consequences in doing so.

Parents are encouraged to have rear-seat child restraint systems physically inspected by a safety technician. An expert can determine whether a car seat is soundly constructed and installed correctly. Inspector locations can be found online at the NHTSA website.

Related Resource: Medical News Today, "Buckle up! Kids are able to escape car seats while in motion" May 3, 2011

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