Shield Car Seat Dangers by nyut545e2


									                                                 shield. In a shielded car seat, the child is
WHAT IT MEANS                                    actually SUPPOSED to impact the shield.
                                                 Maybe they'll be "close enough" to it that
                                                 they only end up with bruised ribs or a
                 Five-point harnessed car
                                                 bumped nose. Maybe they won't be so close
                 seats offer a much snugger
                                                 and they'll break their jaw, break their ribs,
                 harness than a shielded
                                                 or damage their spleen. ER and trauma
                 seat. In all five-point
                                                 nurses can account for the numerous head,
                 harness seats, the straps
                                                 chest and abdominal injuries they've seen in
                 come down over the
                                                 children who've "impacted" the shield at a
shoulders and across the hips to fasten to
                                                 high rate of speed.
the buckle that comes up between the legs.
The harness sits snugly against the bony         Shield seats continue to be heavy sellers,
parts of the pelvis (the crotch and hip          partially because consumer perception is         Figure 1: T-shield Car Seat
straps) and across the shoulders and rib         that the shield provides a measure of
cage (the shoulder straps). When a child         safety. Consumers also see that the
moves forward in the seat, as they would in a
crash, the tightened harness "catches" them
                                                 majority of seats on the shelves are shield
                                                 seats, so they assume shield seats must be       A Parent’s Guide to
almost immediately and restrains them.           “the best”. Many people believe they're
There is no "impact".

In a shield seats, the straps that go over the
                                                 getting the best seat when they buy a shield,
                                                 since the word shield deceptively implies an
                                                 added barrier of protection between their
child's shoulder and between their legs are
                                                 child and any danger. Since they sell,
either attached to the shield or attached to
webbing that attaches to the shield. The
shield does not "hug" the child's body, but
                                                 retailers continue to stock them. It is known
                                                 that at least one child has died from a fatal
                                                 head injury caused when the child struck the
                                                                                                   Car Seat
sits away from it several inches. Those

                                                 shield. There have been many other
straps are also pulled away from the child's
                                                 reported injuries and possibly several deaths
body. When the child moves forward in this
                                                 (matters under investigation or litigation).
seat, there may be several inches of space
between the body and the shield - those          Remember, no car seat is safest unless it
inches allow the child to gain a great deal of   fits your child, fits your car correctly, and
momentum before the "restraint" stops            is used PROPERLY every time. If you are
them. Unfortunately, that restraint is not       not willing or able to use a five-point
merely composed of soft harness webbing,         harness correctly, you may be better off
but of a HARD plastic bar or hard molded
                                                 putting your child in a properly used
rubber. The thin amount of padding material
                                                 shielded car seat.
on that bar is not going to make any
difference or provide any "cushion" in a 35
                                                 You can find this information and more child
mph collision. When you stop suddenly (or
                                                 passenger safety information on the web at:
run into another car), your child’s body will
naturally move forward. You can only guess
                                                             Figure 2: Overhead (bar) Shield Car Seat
what part of your child will impact the
                                                      the harness straps away from the baby's             Automotive Coalition for Traffic Safety,
WHAT THE                                              body. A 5-point harness has several                 INC.: Some models have 5-point harness
EXPERTS SAY                                           advantages for child of any age or size.
                                                      The straps are placed on the child's
                                                                                                          systems that secure at both shoulders,
                                                                                                          across the upper thighs and between the
                                                      shoulders and low on the hips, so that              legs. Others use a harness/T-shield
American Academy of Pediatrics: If                    crash forces are absorbed by the                    combination that attaches two shoulder
using a convertible seat for a small                  strongest parts of the child's body                 straps to a "T" shaped padded tray or
infant, the best choice for a more                    instead of the soft abdomen. If the child           shield, which attaches between the legs.
secure fit is the 5-point harness. A                  is husky, a T-shield may press on chubby            Still others use a harness/tray shield
shield could contact a small baby's face              thighs, while a tray-shield may squeeze             combination. Because of concerns that the
directly in a crash.                                  the tummy. In smaller cars, it may be hard          harnesses may not keep the baby's upper
                                                      to remove the child if the tray-shield              body properly positioned and that the                 cannot be raised completely.                        baby's head or face may contact the
                                                                                                          shield in a crash, the American Academy
National Highway Traffic Safety                of Pediatrics (AAP) does not recommend
Administration (NHTSA): Shields are not                                                                   child safety seats with tray shields for
recommended for newborns. When                        Safety experts have concerns about CRs
                                                                                                          small children.
selecting a convertible seat for a newborn,           with shields. Tray shields usually are not
choose one without a t-shield or tray                 covered with energy-absorbing padding to  
shield in front of the baby. The shield               protect the head if it hits the shield. This
comes up too high on the newborn and may              contact is more likely with a shorter child         Dr. Michael Sachs and Stephanie
make proper adjustment of the harness                 and a loose harness. In a test series with a        Tombrello ("Car Seat Safety: Buckling Up
difficult.                                            12-month-size      dummy,     peak     head         Isn't Always Enough"): There are four
                                                      acceleration was 35% higher for tray                basic designs of internal harness systems   shield restraints than for 5-point                  that secure children in their safety seats.
001/csrhtml/convertibles2_Guide.html                  harnesses. At least one child (19 lb) is            If the seat meets or exceeds all applicable
                                                      known to have received a fatal head injury          U.S. Federal Motor Vehicle Safety
SafetyBeltSafe USA: Convertible seats                 from contact with a tray shield. For T-             Standards, then the type of harness
come with three harness styles: five-point,           shields, there is a concern that the throat         chosen becomes a matter of personal
T-shield, or tray-shield. If a convertible            of a small child may be injured from                preference, although most child passenger
seat is used from birth, it is important to           contact with the top of the shield during a         safety experts agree that the five-point
choose one with a simple, five-point                  crash. In the same series of crash tests,           harness generally provides the best
harness instead of a harness with an                  neck forces were 40% higher for T-                  protection for the widest range of
attached shield. The five-point harness               shields than for 5-point harnesses, and             children.
can be adjusted to fit almost all sizes and           the crotch load with T-shields was 2.7
shapes of children up to 40 pounds. A                 times higher than with 5-points.          
harness system with a shield is not
appropriate for a baby, since the shield    
lies in front of the face or neck and holds

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