Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Spinal Cord Injuries
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CitationLap belt injuries in children., 103 (7):216-8 Ir Med J
JournalIrish medical journal
AbstractThe use of adult seat belts without booster seats in young children may lead to severe abdominal, lumbar or cervical spine and head and neck injuries. We describe four characteristic cases of lap belt injuries presenting to a tertiary children's hospital over the past year in addition to a review of the current literature. These four cases of spinal cord injury, resulting in significant long-term morbidity in the two survivors and death in one child, arose as a result of lap belt injury. These complex injuries are caused by rapid deceleration characteristic of high impact crashes, resulting in sudden flexion of the upper body around the fixed lap belt, and consequent compression of the abdominal viscera between the lap belt and spine. This report highlights the dangers of using lap belts only without shoulder straps. Age-appropriate child restraint in cars will prevent these injuries.
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