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A basis for verification of child dummy injury criteria performance limits, ICPLs, is needed. Presently, the ICPLs used for child dummies are derived from the Hybrid III adult dummies using scale factors for size and strength considerations. Child cadaver testing is one possible method of obtaining this information. However, child cadaver availability is unknown, potentially very politically sensitive and of undetermined timeliness. An alternative approach is to conduct reconstructions of incidents that have resulted in child injuries.

Incident cases that have the potential for reconstruction are identified utilizing various sources, such as CIREN and SCI. Incident cases must meet a strict selection criterion before being considered for reconstruction. This criteria includes the following considerations:

  • 1. Age and anthropometry of the victim. Cases were sought in which the injured child’s size and mass approximated that of one of three available crash test dummies - the CRABI 12-month-old, the Hybrid III 3-year-old, or the Hybrid III 6-year-old.
  • 2. Type of injury. The focus of this research was primarily on head and neck injuries, with chest injuries being of secondary importance
  • 3. Ability to reproduce the injury mode. Cases involving complex occupant kinematics were not considered.

Tests that meet the criteria are then conducted utilizing available case information in order to best approximate the pre-injury positioning of the injured child. A comparison of injury measurements collected from a child crash test dummy could then be made to real-life injuries as a method of ascertaining the validity of current child dummy injury criteria.

Recently, this project has increased its scope by including research into playground and domestic incidents. Working with the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Children’s Hospital of Columbus (OH), VRTC is investigating the potential for reconstructing incidents that might occur on playgrounds, in homes, at groceries, or on streets. As part of routine reporting to the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS), Children's Hospital compiles data regarding injuries to children in numerous environments, including on the playground, on bicycles, in motor vehicles, and in the home. This information, if provided in sufficient detail, could potentially be used for incident reconstruction.

  • Rhule, D.A., Hagedorn, A.V. "Child Injury Tolerance Through Case Reconstruction," 17th International Technical Conference on the Enhanced Safety of Vehicles, Paper No. 226, June 2001. Download this paper (Adobe pdf, 135KB)

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