As a developmental psychologist, I am thrilled that this year’s theme for National Teen Driver Safety Week (October 20-26) is It Takes Two: Shared Expectations for Teens and Parents for Driving. This theme emphasizes that research and practice efforts should consider the family unit as opposed to focusing on parents and teens in isolation.
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.
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?