Ohio State Faculty Share Child Car Safety Research

Drs. John Bolte, Julie Mansfield and Gretchen Baker have been enthusiastically sharing their research at conferences since the return of in-person events this past year. They recently traveled to the Advances in Child Injury Prevention (ACIP) conference to share their work regarding child passenger safety. Their research includes investigations into child restraint (child seat) installation, far side impacts, pediatric responses, and booster seat use. 

Dr. Baker worked to measure the gap between the occupant and seat belt when using different belt positioning booster seat designs. This is the first study to look specifically at this metric to understand overall seat fit. These outcomes will help future researchers to better understand how different booster seats fit different children.  

Dr. Mansfield also looked into a topic that is not widely investigated within the field. She studied far side impact for a variety of different child seats under a range of installation methods. She tested both proper and misuse scenarios to capture how restraint systems operate under a wider range of conditions. This knowledge can be used to educate manufacturers and caregivers in best practices. 

Dr. Bolte presented work that was recently conducted in Ohio State’s Injury Biomechanics Research Center regarding pediatric shoulder response. This work adds to the limited body of knowledge in the field concerning pediatric responses during collisions. This work has also been able to aid scientists in the development and design of pediatric crash test dummies.

We are so glad that Drs. Baker, Mansfield and Bolte can share their work with members of the motor vehicle and child safety seat industries. All their work continues to innovate the injury biomechanics field and improve car safety for child occupants. 

by: Rosalie Connell