There was an odd combination of information that hit the Internet last Monday. First, a study from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia published in Pediatrics and reported in the Ivanhoe Newswire, in which “researchers examined crashes reported to State Farm involving 3,933 child occupants between ages 0 and 15 who were in either an SUV or passenger car.” The results concluded that
Children riding in SUVs have similar injury risks to children riding in passenger cars.
A doctor was quoted as saying: “People who use an SUV as their family vehicle should know that SUVs do not provide superior protection for child occupants and that age and size appropriate restraints and rear seating for children under 13 years are critically important because of the increased risk of a rollover crash.”
Seemingly simultaneously, an item moved across PR Newswire with the headline “The Truth Finally Gets Told: SUVs are Safest for Child Passengers.” It began:
Children are at least twice as safe in SUVs than passenger cars when properly restrained according to an analysis of a July 2005 study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) performed by SUV Owners of America, the organization announced today.
That thing about restraints seems like a pretty important qualifier, no? I guess the important thing to remember from these studies is this: Restrain your children properly when you put them in an S.U.V.
- SUVs not Safer for Children [Philadelphia Children's Hospital via Ivanhoe Newswire]
- Risk of Injury to Child Passengers in Sport Utility Vehicles [Pediatrics]
- The Truth Finally Gets Told: SUVs are Safest for Child Passengers [S.U.V. Owners of America via P.R. Newswire]