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Children with Special Needs Affecting Behavior More Likely to Use Child Restraints Correctly
Date:2/2/2009

However, Injury Risk Remains the Same as for Other Children

PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 2 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Results of the first large-scale study on child restraint use and injury risk among children with special needs likely to affect behavior (i.e. autism and developmental delays) were released today in the journal Pediatrics. Researchers from The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) found that children with special needs likely to affect behavior were more likely to be appropriately restrained in motor vehicles as compared to children with no special needs. Even so, this group of special needs children has a similar risk of injury compared to children without these conditions.

"Children with special needs are driven in private vehicles every day, and we wanted to study their safety in crashes compared with other children," said the study's lead author, Patty Huang, M.D., Fellow, Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. "The results highlight the importance of appropriate restraint use for all children, especially those older than age four. Parents of children with special needs likely to affect behavior should consult their health care provider or a certified Child Passenger Safety technician for vehicle safety advice that accounts for the unique experiences and needs of their child."

Researchers used the State Farm-funded Partners for Child Passenger Safety study to examine real-world crashes involving more than 14,500 children ages 4 to 15 over a four-year period. They point to a number of reasons why children with special needs affecting behavior might be more likely than other children to use child restraints appropriately.

"Children with special needs are more likely to be driven by a parent than their counterparts without special needs, and previous research shows that children riding with their parents are more likely to be
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SOURCE The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
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