Children who are overweight or obese are over two and a half times more likely to suffer injuries to their upper and lower extremities following a motor vehicle crash compared with normal weight children, according to a new report from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health's Center for Injury Research and Policy. Overweight and obese children were overall more likely to experience injury to any body part following a crash; however this difference was not statistically significant. The results are available online at the website of the journal Injury Prevention and published in the December print edition of the journal.
"Our findings document yet another risk associated with overweight and obesity in children," said study lead author Keshia M. Pollack, MPH, PhD, an assistant professor with the Bloomberg School's Center for Injury Research and Policy. "Previous research has shown that poor-fitting car safety seats can put overweight children at greater risk for injury. We found that being overweight negatively impacts older kids involved in motor vehicle accidents as well." The study included a national sample of children 9 to 15 years old who were at least five feet tall; this height cutoff was chosen so researchers could look at the impact of crash on kids not using booster seats.
Pollack and colleagues analyzed data collected between 2000-2006 from the Partners for Child Passenger Safety (PCPS) study, a large child-focused crash surveillance system. All children in the study were riding in parent-operated vehicles at the time of crash. Ninety-six percent of the children were restrained at the time of the crash, with most using a lap/shoulder belt, and over half of the children were seated in the front row of the vehicle. Adjustment was made for potential confounders, including age and gender of the child, direction of initial impact, vehicle type, seating position of the child, child restraint status, age of driver, exp
|Contact: Tim Parsons|
Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health