Variations in injury risk with different forms of forward facing child restraint system misuse
The misuse of forward facing child restraints (FFCRs) is common, and an association between FFCR misuse and serious injury has often been reported, e.g. . However there are many ways in which a FFCR can be used incorrectly. Lalande et al  demonstrated that different forms of misuse can have different effects on the protection provided by an incorrectly used restraint. Although they studied only a few types of misuse, this work indicated that some forms of misuse are much more serious than other forms. A recent observation study of child restraint use in NSW has quantified and described the types of misuse occurring among children using FFCRs across NSW (Brown & Bilston, unpublished data). There is a need to identify those forms of FFCR misuse that deserve highest priority in countermeasure development among those forms of misuse occurring most commonly in Australia.
This paper presents the results of a study examining injury risk variations in a sample of 15 common forms of FFCR misuse compared to a correctly used restraint, when subjected to simulated oblique impact. The implications, in terms of countermeasure development, are also discussed.