Someone here clearly has a problem differentiating "needs" from "wants". Four carseats FFS: is that even a reasonable 'want'?
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- "Expensive"? Victoria must be seriously out of whack with the rest of the world then. Here in New Zealand we only need to use a booster seat for Max from when he was around 3 or 3 and a half. Fraser might have stayed in the child seat a little longer, but not too much.
The booster seats we used after that are simple fabric-covered molded polystyrene designed to position a child so that the in-car seatbelts are in a more suitable location. We kept Fraser in his until after he turned 11.
Car safety features are obviously very badly designed for smaller children, but parents also probably do tend to move from a rear-facing seat to a forward facing seat too young. I think that in New Zealand most capsule seats for the very young are rented from Plunket for a nominal fee.
Other than the obvious safety issues, part of the problem that is being addressed in a seat for under 5s is control: many three year olds would be capable of undoing a normal seatbelt and would think it a great lark to get mum screaming at them as she drove across the centreline. It was a relief to us to know that once they were in there, they stayed there, and we could get on with going where we needed to be.Apr 6, 2012
- Have you read SuperFreakonomics?
On page 246 in the references section Dubner & Levitt reference the Winston et al research specifically. They also reference a paper by Dr Levitt "Evidence that Seat Belts Are as Effective as Child Safety Seats in Preventing Death for Children" in The Review of Economics and Statistics 90, No 1 (Feb 2008), as well as several other papers. I think that is peer reviewed study.
Levitt's techniques are to analyse large quantities of hard data - he is not a doctor. But are paediatricians who are regularly having to treat children who are injured in vehicle collisions more unbiased?
They point out regarding the referenced studies that they are based on parent interviews. They say in part "If your child was riding unrestrained in a car crash, you might feel strong social pressure ... to say your child was restrained. The police report will show whether of not the vehicle had a car seat, so you can't readily lie about that. But every backseat has a seat belt, so even if your child wasn't wearing one, you could say he was and it would be difficult for anyone to prove otherwise"
Dubner and Levitt readily admit that restraints are right for children under two, and they further say that evidence shows reduction in minor injuries.
The Dubner & Levitt books are fun, but they're writing about the challenging results coming from serious research, which they refer to extensively. I don't agree with you that it is "no substitute" - these books are whilst themselves not serious research, they are very useful surveys of serious research, and like anything must be read with a critical eye.
The numbers they quote come from 30 years of data from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System, which goes back to 1975. This is very different to the reduction in injury focus of relatively recent and more advanced child seats referred to by Winston. Fatalities are not the subject of the studies by the paediatricians and other "concerned citizens".
Also in the later book SuperFreakonomics, Levitt commissioned his own side-by-side study in a crash-test lab. At the time Levitt noted the dearth of actual side-by-side comparison tests like this - in those tests which are similar to those used in verifying the compliance of child safety seats the sensor data showed that neither the seat-belt nor the child seat suffered injury. Levitt says that the paediatricians point out that the sensors on the crash-test dummies do not measure trauma to the neck, and thus are not able to measure some types of injury called "seat belt syndrome".
Modern child safety seats have multi-point restraints and are in some cases rear-ward facing. If you've flown internationally you'll know that this is exactly what flight attendants have as their seating. The reasoning of course is so that they survive and are able to assist in getting injured passengers out. But the point is a much higher standard of safety and restraint system is being applied to them.
If adults wore multi-point restraints, and had wrap around capsules that protected them, and also if these adults always travelled in the much safer back seat, (which is where the child safety seats happen to be located) then they too would likely enjoy these much increased rates of injury protection.Apr 6, 2012
- You're right - these books are no substitute for peer reviewed research. I over-stated my position there. :-)
But they cannot be simply dismissed either as they are more accessible, and they do back their claims with peer-reviewed research along with other literature surveys.Apr 7, 2012
- While I wasn't dismissing this research, I do think that it is wiser to make policy by looking at the consensus inside the medical field, rather than broad brush critiques from outside it. I hope and expect that these contrarian views will be taken seriously and their approaches will inform medical journals in time. I'm not saying the study is ludicrous; way up at the top of the thread Andrew said it wasn't easy to find for and against, and we've now provided some.
It also takes time to 'prove' truths sometimes. What was the point in which experimentally and scientifically it become 'proven' that socialism was doomed cf. capitalism? Probably that standard has not been met - messy data - but you still be a silly dictator to nationalise the means of production, distribution, and exchange.Apr 9, 2012
- also note how much this sounds like the climate change 'debate': consensus in the relevant journals, attacks from right field in narrow sectoral journals on somewhat orthogonal issues... but I think you are on the conventional side of the clmate change issue :-PApr 9, 2012
- I have twins and double bills :)Apr 16, 2012