Air Bag Safety for Infants, Toddlers and Children – The Children’s of Philadelphia

September 12, 2019 posted by


>>AIRBAGS HAVE SAVED
THOUSANDS OF LIVES AND PREVENTED MILLIONS OF
INJURIES TO ADULT PASSENGERS SINCE CARMAKERS STARTED
INSTALLING THEM IN THE 1980S, BUT FOR CHILDREN UNDER
13, FRONTAL AIRBAGS CAN BE FATAL. FRONT PASSENGER AIRBAGS
ARE IN THE DASHBOARD AND ARE DESIGNED TO INFLATE
AND FILL THE SPACE BETWEEN THE OCCUPANT AND THE DASHBOARD
TO PROTECT AN ADULT IN A CRASH. BUT FOR CHILDREN
UNDER 13 YEARS OF AGE, SITTING IN FRONT OF AN
AIRBAG DOUBLES THEIR RISK OF SERIOUS INJURY. MICHAEL NANCE IS A DOCTOR
AT THE CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL OF PHILADELPHIA WHO IS AN
EXPERT AT TREATING INJURED CHILDREN.>>WHEN A HEAD-ON
CRASH OCCURS, SEAT BELTS AND AIRBAGS ARE
DESIGNED TO WORK TOGETHER TO HELP PASSENGERS COME TO
A GRADUAL STOP AND TO PROTECT AGAINST INJURIES. BUT FOR A CHILD IN
THE SAME SITUATION, THE RAPIDLY-INFLATING AIRBAG
CAN PULL THE HEAD AWAY FROM THE BODY RESULTING IN SERIOUS
INJURY AND SOMETIMES DEATH.>>A REAR-FACING CHILD
CAN ALSO BE KILLED FROM THE FORCE OF AN AIRBAG HITTING
THE BACK OF THEIR SAFETY SEAT. NEVER PLACE A REAR-FACING
CHILD IN A SEAT WITH A FRONTAL AIRBAG. THE BEST PROTECTION IS TO
PUT YOUR CHILD IN THE RIGHT RESTRAINT FOR YOUR CHILD’S
AGE AND SIZE IN THE BACK SEAT OF YOUR VEHICLE EACH
AND EVERY TIME YOU TRAVEL. AIRBAGS HAVE BEEN IMPROVED
SINCE THE EARLY 80S, BUT EVEN NOW THE RISK
OF FATAL OR CRITICAL INJURY FOR CHILDREN REMAINS HIGH. FOR THAT REASON, CHILDREN
UNDER 13 SHOULD NEVER BE SEATED IN THE FRONT
SEAT OF A VEHICLE WITH A PASSENGER AIRBAG. THERE MAY BE TIMES WHEN
YOUR CHILD MUST RIDE IN THE FRONT SEAT. YOU MAY BE DRIVING A PICKUP
TRUCK OR SPORTS CAR WITH NO BACK SEAT, HAVE MORE
CHILDREN IN THE CAR THAN CAN SAFELY FIT IN THE REAR SEAT,
OR YOUR CHILD HAS A MEDICAL CONDITION THAT MAY
REQUIRE YOUR ATTENTION. IF A CHILD MUST RIDE IN
THE FRONT VEHICLE SEAT WITH A PASSENGER AIRBAG,
MOVE THE VEHICLE SEAT AS FAR BACK AS
POSSIBLE AND MAKE SURE HE IS
CORRECTLY RESTRAINED. JUST REMEMBER CHILDREN SITTING
IN FRONT OF AN AIRBAG DURING A CRASH ARE AT DOUBLE
THE RISK OF SERIOUS INJURY. SO BEFORE YOU DECIDE TO EXPOSE
YOUR CHILD TO THAT RISK, YOU SHOULD CONSIDER
ALL YOUR OPTIONS. WHENEVER POSSIBLE, AVOID
TRANSPORTING INFANTS AND CHILDREN IN VEHICLES WITHOUT
REAR SEATS AND MAKE SURE THEY ARE PROPERLY
RESTRAINED. IF YOUR CHILD REQUIRES
CONSTANT ATTENTION, MAKE SURE THERE IS AN ADULT
RIDING IN THE BACK SEAT. AS THE DRIVER, YOU NEED TO
KEEP YOUR EYES ON THE ROAD. SOME VEHICLES NOW COME WITH
SIDE AIRBAGS IN ADDITION TO FRONTAL ONES THAT
CAN PROTECT PASSENGERS AND DRIVERS IN SIDE-IMPACT
CRASHES AND ROLLOVERS. SIDE AIRBAGS AND CURTAIN
AIRBAGS CAN COME OUT OF THE SIDE OF THE VEHICLE
SEAT OR FROM THE ROOF ABOVE THE WINDOW AND CAN PROVIDE
PROTECTION FOR BOTH THE FRONT AND BACK PASSENGERS. SOME CARS MAY HAVE SIDE
AIRBAGS IN THE REAR SEAT THAT COME OUT OF THE
SEAT BACK OR DOOR. SIDE AIRBAGS MAY BE HARMFUL
TO CHILDREN WHO ARE LEANING AGAINST THE DOOR. SIDE AIRBAGS ARE SMALLER
THAN FRONT AIRBAGS AND INFLATE WITH
MUCH LESS FORCE. BUT IF THE CHILD’S HEAD
IS TOO CLOSE TO THE SIDE AIRBAG, YOUR CHILD COULD
SUFFER A SERIOUS INJURY. CONSULT YOUR OWNER’S MANUAL
TO LEARN IF IT IS SAFE FOR CHILDREN TO SIT NEXT TO A
SIDE AIRBAG IN YOUR VEHICLE. IN ALL VEHICLES
WITH SIDE AIRBAGS, TEACH YOUR CHILDREN NOT
TO LEAN AGAINST THE DOOR. PICKUP TRUCKS AND OTHER
VEHICLES WITHOUT A BACK SEAT HAVE ON/OFF
SWITCHES FOR THE AIRBAG. IN ADDITION, THE NATIONAL
HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION MAKES SOME
EXCEPTIONS FOR CONSUMERS WITH SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES
WHO NEED TO HAVE AIRBAG ON/OFF SWITCHES
INSTALLED IN THEIR CARS. IF A CHILD MUST RIDE IN
THIS TYPE OF VEHICLE, BE SURE TO TURN
THE AIRBAG OFF, ESPECIALLY FOR A
REAR-FACING SEAT. YOU MUST REMEMBER TO
TURN THE AIRBAG BACK ON FOR THE PROTECTION OF THE
NEXT ADULT PASSENGER. FOR MORE GOOD
ADVICE ON KIDS AND CARS, LOOK FOR A CERTIFIED CAR SEAT
TECHNICIAN IN YOUR AREA. YOU MAY FIND A FREE CHILD,
SAFETY SEAT CHECKPOINT OR CAR SEAT CHECK
AT A LOCAL HOSPITAL, POLICE OR FIRE DEPARTMENT
OR STATE HIGHWAY SAFETY OFFICE. AND REMEMBER,
CRASHES HAPPEN, BUT WITH PROPER PRECAUTIONS,
SERIOUS INJURIES DON’T HAVE TO. THIS PRESENTATION WAS
CREATED BY THE KOHL’S INJURY PREVENTION PROGRAM AND THE
CENTER FOR INJURY RESEARCH AND PREVENTION AT THE CHILDREN’S
HOSPITAL OF PHILADELPHIA.

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