Moderator’s Note: This post was authored by Jessica Mirman, PhD, an Applied Developmental Psychologist and Scientist and former member of the CIRP Teen Driver Safety Research team. While at CIRP, Dr. Mirman studied how interactions with parents and peers affect the development of children's health behaviors in two domains: injury/safety and health management. One area of focus was the development and evaluation of TeenDrivingPlan. As of July 2016, Dr. Mirman has left CIRP@CHOP to continue her career elsewhere.
When we think about trauma and prevention we often focus on death as the outcome. However, functional disability from trauma is far more common than death and can cause long-term physical and cognitive impairment despite inpatient rehabilitation. In fact, 95 percent of children and young adults survive moderate to severe trauma. How can we best measure these impairments in a standardized manner? What happens to these patients when they leave the hospital and inpatient rehabilitation? Are we doing all we can to ensure these children recover to reach their fullest potential?
If you are a Research in Action reader in the field of child passenger safety, you know the safest ways to properly restrain a child in a motor vehicle and may even work to educate parents on this topic. What may be less obvious, however, is the complex body of biomechanical engineering research behind the current best practice recommendations.