Research in Action Blog

The world of child injury prevention advances quickly in big and small steps each day. The Research in Action blog shares credible and timely commentary on the latest news, research, events, and more as we work together to keep children safe. We invite thought-provoking comments to spur friendly conversation among our readers. We feel that the regular posting of well-informed commentary by our readers will only enhance the quality of our blog. Comments are moderated by the Research in Action blog staff. The comments section is not intended to be a forum for specific parenting advice or to promote a product. Please use the "Contact Us" form for any information requests. Read more about our Commenting Guidelines.

Considering LATCH Improvements

Today, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) released a new study in its latest Status Report regarding LATCH ease-of-use. Although child restraint systems (CRS) installed with LATCH or with a vehicle seat belt are equally safe, LATCH was mandated in motor vehicles beginning with model year 2003 in order to make CRS installation easier. However, research has shown that parents can struggle to correctly install a CRS using LATCH.

Toward A Better Understanding of Teen Driver Crashes

In an editorial published today in JAMA Pediatrics, I commend the work being done by my teen driver safety colleagues at Virginia Tech as part of the Naturalistic Teen Driving Study. The study by Ouimet et al.¹ examines the association between cortisol reactivity and crashes and near-crashes among newly-licensed teens. While these findings do present an interesting new line of research, they do not suggest that we are close to developing a clinically useful biomarker-based diagnostic test nor a pharmaceutical therapy to reduce the risk for teen driver crashes. Continued research is needed.

An Additional Rating System for Infant Child Seats

Today, Consumer Reports released new infant seat ratings from its latest test protocol based on crash testing, ease-of-use, and fit-to-vehicle. After testing 34 commercially available infant seats, the consumer advocates group classified five seats as “basic,” 16 as “better,” and 13 as “best.”

The Child Passenger Safety Technician community should be prepared to field questions from consumer parents who wonder how they should interpret these results. Is their “basic” rated child seat is still safe to use? Here are few points to consider:

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