The Role of Restraint and Seat Position in Pediatric Facial Fractures

This article reports on a study undertaken to examine the prevalence of facial fractures in children who are involved as occupants in motor vehicle accidents and to describe the biomechanics of these injuries. The study was undertaken in response to recent understanding of head and brain injuries happening as consequences of the inappropriate use of seat belts by children. The study used a probability sample of children under age 16 involved in crashes who were enrolled in an ongoing crash surveillance system (1998-2001) that links insurance claims data to telephone survey and crash investigation data (n = 12,659; representing n = 131,717). In-depth crash investigation was used to explore the role of seating position and restraint use in the mechanism of injury. The data showed that 92 children suffered a fracture of the facial bones (0.07% of all children in crashes). Among restrained children with facial fractures (n = 68), those inappropriately restrained were at a 1.6-fold higher risk of significant injury than those appropriately restrained for their age. The in-depth investigations revealed that excessive head excursion resulting from suboptimal torso restraint caused facial impact, which resulted in the facial injuries described. The authors conclude by discussing how these results could be used to motivate parents to use appropriate child restraint seats, in order to avoid the potential disfigurement associated with these types of facial injuries.

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  • Authors:
    • Arbogast, Kristy B
    • Durbin, Dennis R
    • Kallan, Michael J
    • Menon, Rajiv A
    • Lincoln, Andrew E
    • Winston, Flaura K
  • Publication Date: 2002-4


  • English

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  • Accession Number: 01042683
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Feb 28 2007 10:26AM