March 2013

A World Tour (of Learner Driver Decals)!

A recent study demonstrated the early positive effect of New Jersey’s novice driver decals at reducing teen crash rates. Other states are also contemplating requiring novice drivers to display decals (also known as identifiers) on the outside of their vehicle when they are the driver. This got me thinking about what novice driver identifiers look like in other parts of the world.

Developmental Disabilities and Driving

As a developmental and behavioral pediatrician, I primarily care for children and teens with developmental disabilities, such as ADHD, autism spectrum disorders, intellectual disabilities, and learning disabilities, among other conditions. Much of our focus in clinic is the early childhood years, where interventions may be the most effective. However, as our kids grow, so do their needs, and an emerging area of research is in the transition to adulthood period. Issues in the transition to adulthood period very much include driving.

Policy Petri Dish – New Jersey Decal Study Resonates

This week, we were excited to learn that our article “Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) Decal Law: Effect on Young Probationary Drivers” has been selected Robert Wood Johnson Research Foundation's No. 1 Most Influential Research Article of 2012 . How did a study on a single provision of one state’s GDL program grab the attention of health care policy stakeholders? I asked Allison Curry, PhD, MPH, lead author and director of epidemiology at CIRP@CHOP, about why she thought the study resonated so strongly with the broader public health community. She gave much credit to the state of New Jersey. Participate in a free Webinar on the topic on March 21, 2013, sponsored by the Network for Public Health Law.

Looking Forward to Lifesavers in Denver, Part One

Plane tickets, hotel reservations and registrations are booked for a strong CIRP@CHOP presence at the Lifesavers Conference. I hope we’ll see you in Denver on April 14th to 16th. Lifesavers attendees will be among the first to hear about our ongoing research to inform targeted engineering, policy and education countermeasures to reduce injuries and deaths among child motor vehicle occupants in three separate presentations.

Looking Forward to Lifesavers in Denver, Part Two

Yesterday, I blogged about the CIRP research projects we’ll be sharing in the Occupant Protection for Children track at the 2013 Lifesavers Conference. Today, I want to share what we’re contributing to the Teen Driver Safety track: “Best Practices in Intervention Design and Evaluation.”

Road Safety Work in Action in Israel

Last week I blogged about Beterem, a national child safety organization in Israel, and its successful research-to-action model. As a I traveled about Israel over the past two weeks, I captured some of Israel's road safety work in action as well as daily life unfolding.

Backover Crash Prevention in Israel

By guest contributor Sharon Levi, Beterem. Backover crashes are common in the Arab community in Israel; in the years 2007-2010, 38 children died in backover crashes in this community. This is due to a lack of play areas away from vehicles, children playing near vehicles without supervision, and a lack of knowledge regarding the methods to prevent these crashes.

Beterem's Evidence-based Approach in Israel

I was truly inspired when I met with my friends, Orly Siblinger and others, from Beterem over the past few days in Petah Tikvah, Israel. This was my third visit with this wonderful organization, and I am always impressed with their work.

A Tragic Mix: Teens Driving Multiple Passengers

Since this past Sunday, we have lost 15 teenagers in teen driver related crashes in Ohio, Texas and Illinois. I had been preparing a post about the ESPNU Show “E:60” that aired a story Sunday about four members of a high school football team in Manheim, PA that died in a crash in January 2011. The quarterback, Caleb Walton, stepped forward to express his regret that he didn’t do more to stop his friends from making a fatal choice. I hope his courage is not in vain.

How Parents Can Help Injury Researchers

Over the past 15 years, through both the Partners for Child Passenger Safety (PCPS) study and the National Child Occupant Special Study (NCOSS), CHOP researchers and our partners have been dedicated to creating a system to collect supplemental crash data specific to children. Although collecting this data for a large population of children is challenging, it’s important to understand the mechanisms by which children are injured to determine how best to protect them in car crashes. Police crash reports provide a glimpse into this data, but digging deeper to understand pre- and post-event details offers a more complete picture of child injury.

Youth Concussions: Medical & School Teams on the Same Team

The primary vocation for children and adolescents is school, in order to prepare for meaningful, full adult lives. Toward the goal of better communication and support for kids recovering from concussion, on Saturday, April 6, 2013, CHOP will host the first annual Continuing Medical Education concussion course, “Diagnosis and Management of Child and Adolescent Concussion: A Primer for Primary Care Providers and Educators.” In addition, we have just added substantial new content to our Concussion Care for Kids website and organized the content to make it easy for the different types people who support a child's recovery to get the customized information they need-- whether you need to increase your concussion knowledge as a parent, school administrator, teacher, coach or health care provider.

A Snapshot of Child Restraint Misuse

As one of my particular research interests revolves around the proper use of child restraint systems (CRS), I wanted to share with you what we know today about CRS misuse in the United States. Studies from Safe Kids USA and NHTSA highlight common types of CRS misuse, but we also need to understand the potential consequences of these errors.