CHILD task 1.2. Overview report of research into the incorrect use of child restraints in selected countries

This report was a public deliverable of the EC funded CHILD project G3RD-CT-2002-00791 (Advanced Methods for Improved Child Safety). It provides a review of the research and public information relating to the extent of use and misuse of child restraints in the participating countries, including the UK. Whilst the rates of child restraint use are improving the prevalence of misuse is high and the consequences of misuse are not well understood and continue to contribute to the casualty figures for children in cars. The results from this study, together with cases from the CHILD Accident Database, were used to determine the terms of reference for a programme of testing to investigate the injury consequences of various types of misuse. This testing programme has produced results which are being used to inform the child restraint design and manufacturing community of the effects of misuse in order to assist them in improving the design of child restraints to minimise the possibility and consequences of misuse. In addition the information is being used to develop and target public information to inform users of the importance of correct use and the potential consequences of misuse. This work has been particularly important in the light of the introduction of the new seatbelt/child restraint wearing law in the UK in September last year (and equivalent laws in the other EU member states) requiring all children under 12 years of age and less than 135cm in height to use a child restraint. As many more children will be using child restraints, with an associated increase in misuse, the consequences in terms of injuries needs to be avoided with the improvement in child restraint design and the education of the users.