A positive trend to more frequent use of child restraint systems (CRS) in Sweden, during the last 20 years, is shown in this report. During the same period, the overall injury risk, for different age groups of child occupants, has decreased substantially. This indicates the high effectiveness of the child restraint systems.
Children need car occupant safety systems specially designed for their size. This paper clearly states the need for child safety systems and discusses benefits and drawbacks with regard to different restraints, ages and injuries.
The analysis points out, that when a crash occurs, the maximum effect of a child restraint system is not reached, if the child is not using the correct system for their size.
There is even a tendency that the injury risk increases when children switch from one restraint system to another, i.e. are at the youngest ages for which the specific restraint is recommended.
The background data used, is based on Volvo's traffic accident research. The report is founded on crashes in Sweden which occurred between 1976 and 1996 and comprises a total of 25.000 crashes. This analysis is based on a subset of 4242 child occupants between 0 and 15 years of age, restrained and unrestrained.