Seat-Belt Injuries in Children Involved in Motor Vehicle Crashes

The "seat-belt syndrome" refers to a spectrum of injuries associated with lap belt restraints, particularly flexion-distraction injuries to the spine (Chance fractures). This article reports on a study of the injuries sustained by 8 children, including 2 sets of twins, in 3 different motor vehicle crashes. All children were rear seat passengers wearing lap or 3-point restraints. All of the children had abdominal lap-belt ecchymosis and multiple abdominal injuries due to the common mechanism of seat-belt compression with hyperflexion and distraction during deceleration. Five of the children had lumbar spine fractures and 4 remained permanently paraplegic. The authors conclude that these incidents illustrate the need for acute awareness of the complete spectrum of intra-abdominal and spinal injuries in this population. The authors also comment on the need for rear seat restraints that include shoulder belts with the ability to adjust them to fit smaller passengers, and the use of booster seats.

  • Authors:
    • Santschi, Miriam
    • Echave, Vincent
    • Laflamme, Sophie
    • McFadden, Nathalie
    • Cyr, Claude
  • Publication Date: 2005-10


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: pp 373-376
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01013506
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Dec 18 2005 7:50AM