The Center for Injury Research and Prevention (CIRP) believes a multidisciplinary approach, involving several scientific disciplines working collaboratively, is best when trying to prevent or promote recovery from childhood injury. CIRP's child safety research team is composed of professionals from the fields of Emergency Medicine; Pediatric Trauma; Pediatric and Adolescent Development; Epidemiology and Biostatistics; Bioengineering; Computational Engineering; Psychology; Behavioral Science; Communications; Advocacy; and Health Education. The CIRP team collaborates to study injury topics comprehensively and to provide evidence-based, actionable solutions for parents, educators, industry, government, and other stakeholders.
Research by Scientific Discipline
- Behavioral Science
The Center’s behavioral scientists are studying the pre-event behaviors that are risk factors for injury and then develop interventions to increase the adoption of safe behaviors. Work in this area has focused on increasing age- and size-appropriate restraint use in motor vehicles, as well as promoting safer driving behaviors among teenagers. Researchers also study the post-event emotional impact of injury in order to develop screening tools and interventions to prevent long-term emotional consequences.
- Epidemiology and Biostatistics
Epidemiology, the study of health conditions in a specific population, and Biostatistics, the application of statistical methods and principles to medical problems, are at the very core of the Center's entire research enterprise. Experts in both fields inform every CIRP project to identify the nature and magnitude of specific injury problems, as well as the causes and consequences of injury.
Field investigation of real world child injury events, such as motor vehicle crashes, fuels the Center’s Biomechanics child safety research. Our laboratory research on the mechanics of injury and the unique kinematics of children is helping to fill gaps in quantitative data on the response of children to trauma. Computational engineers create crash reconstruction models that help us translate real world data into industry-relevant information that may be used in the design of new products or safety regulations to mitigate the risk of injury.
- Outreach and Dissemination
Outreach and Dissemination is a critical component of CIRP’s “Research to Action” model. Through building relationships with key stakeholders, media, and peers across all lines of the Center’s pediatric injury research initiatives and executing digital media strategies, the CIRP Outreach team increases awareness, educates, and promotes positive behavior change.
Research by Pediatric Injury Priority
- Teen Driver Safety
Through its Teen Driver Safety Research team, CIRP is working to reduce deaths and injuries caused by motor vehicle crashes, the No. 1 cause of death for teens. Utilizing expertise in Adolescent Development and Behavior, Human Factors, and Epidemiology and Biostatistics, CIRP deploys comprehensive and rigorous methods to both analyze the factors associated with teen crashes and to develop interventions to change behaviors that contribute to those crashes.
- Child Passenger Safety
Motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death and injury for all children. CIRP's child passenger safety research includes surveillance and epidemiological data collection, behavior change, injury mechanism and causation, and regulations and laboratory evaluation.
- Pediatric Biomechanics
CIRP bioengineers are implementing novel approaches to measure how children respond to forces, such as those felt in a crash, and to estimate their bodies’ tolerance to various types of injury. This basic data will allow development of more accurate Anthropomorphic Test Devices (ATDs), also known as crash test dummies, and spur innovation of effective safety products for children.
- Post-injury Care and Recovery
CIRP scientists are working to understand children's physical and emotional recovery after injury and to improve models of post-injury care. Current research in this area focuses on understanding long-term physical and functional recovery after injury; optimizing care for concussion; learning more about how children and parents cope with injury; disseminating web-based interventions for parents and clinicians (through the award-winning AfterTheInjury.org website); and developing web-based interventions for children.
- Violence Prevention
CIRP is working to prevent violent injury among youth by strengthening communities using community-based participatory research, which involves collaborating with Philadelphia-based universities and community groups.
- Digital Health
CIRP’s Digital Health Initiative aims to change behavior and prevent injuries using online, mobile, and virtual interventions to better reach target audiences.