Study: "Car safety seats for children: rear facing for best protection"

UlrikeDG

Admin - CPS Technician Emeritus
Rear facing continues to provide the best protection beyond the first year.

Abstract:
Car safety seats for children: rear facing for best protection
B Henary, C P Sherwood, J R Crandall, R W Kent, F E Vaca, K B Arbogast, M J Bull
Injury Prevention 2007;13:398-402; doi:10.1136/ip.2006.015115

...Conclusions: RFCSs are more effective than FFCSs in protecting restrained children aged 0–23 months. The same findings apply when 1 year olds are analyzed separately. Use of an RFCS, in accordance with restraint recommendations for child size and weight, is an excellent choice for optimum protection up to a child’s second birthday.
 
ADS

southpawboston

New member
interesting abstract, i'd like to be able to access the full paper.

but there was an interesting comment that seems inconsistent with popular thought on this forum:

When considering frontal crashes alone, children in FFCSs were more likely to be seriously injured (OR = 1.23), although this finding was not statistically significant (95% CI 0.95 to 1.59). In side crashes, however, children in FFCSs were much more likely to be injured (OR = 5.53, 95% CI 3.74 to 8.18).

dogma on this forum has it that RFing is much safer primarily for frontal crashes, and also safer for side impact. but from the abstract of this paper, it appears that side impact is where RFing really shines. the differences in frontal impact injuries FF vs RF were not statistically significant, while side impact differences were.
 

CDNTech

Senior Community Member
dogma on this forum has it that RFing is much safer primarily for frontal crashes, and also safer for side impact. but from the abstract of this paper, it appears that side impact is where RFing really shines. the differences in frontal impact injuries FF vs RF were not statistically significant, while side impact differences were.

I think you may have that slightly confused.

The mantra is that RFing is safer for kids because of side impact crashes... which are the most deadly types of collisions. It is also slightly safer for frontal collisions.

I also encourage the use of a RFing tether when possible due to side impact collisions as well.
 

Jeanum

Admin - CPS Technician Emeritus
Staff member
Oooh, thanks. :) This is the eagerly awaited RF study we've heard was in the works, published at last. :thumbsup:
 

southpawboston

New member
I think you may have that slightly confused.

The mantra is that RFing is safer for kids because of side impact crashes... which are the most deadly types of collisions. It is also slightly safer for frontal collisions.

really? but every time the question of RF vs FF comes up, people invariably cite over and over the image of an infant's neck excursion in a frontal impact, as opposed to that of a side impact. that's just the impression i get here.
 

UlrikeDG

Admin - CPS Technician Emeritus
I don't read every single thread, but my impression is the same as SPB's--that frontal impacts have generally been cited as the biggest safety advantage of RF. Regardless, I found this study quite interesting.
 

henrietta

New member
Okay, I totally get that, and have been "preaching" it to anyone who will listen...but my ds is now 27 mos old (25 mos if you want to split hairs and still adjust for his prematurity). What about now?

If rearfacing is that much safer for a child under 24 mos in a side impact, isn't it also that much safer for that same child at 28 mos or 32 mos? What about at 4 years? Is there a HUGE difference in safety for these older toddlers if they are rearfacing during a SI vs. forward facing in a top-tethered and harnessed seat?

I've looked at the pictures of spine development and the ages of ossification, etc. It makes sense to me that they are still safer rearfacing, but b/c of our seat designs (the base is up against the seat back, unlike on the Euro seats I've seen), it's a bit harder to get them in there rearfacing as they get bigger. I'm not worried about broken legs, and I don't want to turn ds, but honestly it IS easier for me to get him in/out of the car if he is forward facing. It's a lot less physically painful for me b/c I don't have to fight with him to get him in his seat as much (mainly b/c he can't push off the back of the seat!) LOL

So, how MUCH safer is it for them to continue rearfacing past 24 mos? Does anyone have actual numbers?

Thanks!

henrietta
 

joolsplus3

Admin - CPS Technician
really? but every time the question of RF vs FF comes up, people invariably cite over and over the image of an infant's neck excursion in a frontal impact, as opposed to that of a side impact. that's just the impression i get here.

Many people here have been saying '4 times safer' based on the article that came out about this study two years ago http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9916868

Problem is, not enough of the quoters have read it thoroughly, or they can't remember that 'four times safer in a side impact', so they fail to mention that detail....

...and, it's so much easier to come across those dramatic 'rf vs ff in a frontal crash test' pictures.... :whistle:
 

joolsplus3

Admin - CPS Technician
Okay, I totally get that, and have been "preaching" it to anyone who will listen...but my ds is now 27 mos old (25 mos if you want to split hairs and still adjust for his prematurity). What about now?

If rearfacing is that much safer for a child under 24 mos in a side impact, isn't it also that much safer for that same child at 28 mos or 32 mos? What about at 4 years? Is there a HUGE difference in safety for these older toddlers if they are rearfacing during a SI vs. forward facing in a top-tethered and harnessed seat?



So, how MUCH safer is it for them to continue rearfacing past 24 mos? Does anyone have actual numbers?

Thanks!

henrietta

No... that's why they did this study only up to age 2. There's just not enough kids rearfacing past that age to really get a real picture of how much safer it is. I bet it's going to be years before they get enough data in the US to publish another study including older children (maybe there're some Swedish studies out somewhere that show it already... I don't know :confused: )
 

CDNTech

Senior Community Member
Maybe it's the 4 times safer thing... I generally say 4 times safer but don't bother specifying frontal or side impact collision. I guess I could be more specific, but I generally only have so much time before kids are bugging me. ;)

I know I've never told someone they are safer because of frontal collisions, but maybe others do?
 

TechnoGranola

Forum Ambassador
I know I often read about internal decapitation happening on frontal collisions as a reason to RF. I don't believe I've read anything in particular for side impact. So, it has also come across to me that it is frontal collisions where RF is most important.

That being said, I don't really give a darn which it's safest for (front or side), the fact that it is safer is why we will extended rear face.
 

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