Car Seat Safety Concerns

May 15, 2002

Infants and toddlers placed in specific types of car seats may not be protected from being thrown out of vehicles during rollover crashes, experts report. The findings may be most important for families with sport utility vehicles (SUVs), which are especially prone to such crashes, according to a Reuters Health report.

Rollovers account for 28 percent of crash-related child fatalities of the 2.2 percent of fatal crashes in the U.S., says researcher Dr. Andrew Howard of the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Canada. Children “who are restrained in approved child safety seats can still be ejected during a rollover, despite being appropriately restrained in an approved device,” according to his team’s findings presented at the Sixth World Conference on Injury Prevention and Control.

The Toronto researchers examined statistics on child fatality and injury during
crashes occurring across the U.S. in 1995-1999 using data from the U.S. National
Highway Traffic Safety Commission. Investigators found that more than 5,800
children were thrown from vehicles during that period of time, with rollover
crashes accounting for a large percentage of child ejection. Risks for severe
injury or death were 20 times higher if children were thrown from the vehicle
rather than remaining restrained inside.

Moderator Comment: In what ways can retailers increase
child safety and build adult consumer loyalty in the process?

Retailers need to be active in promoting safety through
quality products and consumer education. Events such as car safety checks are
ideal for building trusting relationships with consumers.

This Reuters piece sounds to us like a 60 Minutes
report in the making. Can product recalls be far behind? [George
Anderson – Moderator

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