The IBRC conducts extensive research specifically for the pediatric population. Children are not small adults. Children have unique body proportions, bone and tissue strengths, and constantly changing developmental stages which must be considered in research efforts to prevent pediatric injury and improve child safety. Studies conducted at the IBRC facilitate scientific inquiry into childhood and young adult injuries and translate the findings into commercial applications and public education programs for preventing future injuries from occurring. Many of these studies emerge from the Center for Child Injury Prevention Studies (CChIPS), an industry/university cooperative research center made up of the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, the IBRC, and approximately twenty industry-leading companies . Knowledge gained through child passenger safety research is given back to the community through the IBRC's outreach and education initiative, Buckle Up With Brutus.
Compatibility of Child Restraint Systems (CRS) and Vehicles
This multi-year project aimed to quantify the frequency of physical incompatibilities between CRS and vehicle. The geometries of hundreds of CRS and vehicle seating positions were examined and compared. The studies identified issues with seat cushion angles, head restraint interference, and seat belt buckle interference with CRS.
Child Restraint System (CRS) Usability
CRS misuse is common and can have serious consequences on the safety of the child occupant. We recently studied how well volunteers were able to install a CRS into a vehicle fixture with various different hardware configurations. Studies continue to investigate how consumers interact with safety products, and whether small design changes might have beneficial effects on real-world usability. Public surveys also help researchers at the IBRC identify specific topics with which caregivers are struggling.
Child Restraint System (CRS) Performance
Several CChIPS studies have focused on the performance of CRS under various dynamic crash testing conditions. Specific projects include: performance of rear-facing CRS in rear impacts, effect of recline angle in rear-facing CRS, and the roles of vehicle seat cushion stiffness and length on CRS response.