NeuRA-Profile-2016 - page 10

Our earlyyearsareacrucial time forbraindevelopment, from themoment
inuterowhenourneuronsfirstbegin tofire, to infancywhenourneural
networksmakeconnectionsatabreathtakingpace.Our researchatNeuRA
startsat thiscritical phaseof life.
Between2002and2011 approximately
70childrenper yearwerekilled in
car crashes, withapproximately3000
injured. This isdespite the fact that close
to 100percent ofAustraliandriverswith
achildpassenger usechild restraints.
This alarming trend reveals that
suboptimal child restraint use is a
widespreadproblem that reduces crash
protectionand increases riskof injury.
Dr JulieBrownand researcherCameron
Fongdefine suboptimal as the incorrect
or inappropriateuseof a restraint, the
incorrect installationof a restraint or not
puttingachild ina restraint correctly.
Theyalsonoted that thisdefinition
could includeputtingachild ina
restraint that isnot right for their size
or age. For instance, puttingayoung
child ina restraintmeant for anolder
occupant. Inaneffort tounderstand
why thesemistakesmaybeoccurring,
the researchers exploredwhether or
not parents’ perceptionof their child’s
comfort playeda role in thecorrect
usageof restraints. Resultshavenot
confirmed this tobe thecase so far.
The studyhighlights theneed for
further investigationof the relationship
betweenparent-perceivedcomfort and
theactual comfort of thechild, aswell as
the impact of childcomfort onoptimal
child restraint use. “This is an important
andcomplex issue to tackle,”notes
Fong, “and it’svital thatweunderstand
all of thepossible issues surrounding
incorrect restraint use inorder tobetter
protect our children.”
Seekinganswersas towhy injury still occursduringcar
crashesdespite thehigh rateof child restraintusage.
Parents’ perceptionof their child’s comfortmay
playa role in the correct usageof restraints
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