After publishing several studies on the safety of shield chairs in this post, I have seen that some doubts have arisen. That's whyIn today's article, I want to highlight some real cases in Canada and the USA, where the sale of this type of child safety seats has been prohibited.
Looking for information I was able to find that in 2002 Melanie Amstrong (Texas) filed a complaint to Dorel, one of the global manufacturers of safety seats at the time. In 2003 there was also a demand for a similar case, that of Isaiah. In both cases we can see that the requests were very clear:
»I hope that (Dorel) Cosco will stop making safety seats with shields and eliminate the use of these devices. Unfortunately, our family understood the danger of shields after losing our son Christopher. Parents should not be in this situation to learn about the security of these systems »Parents of Christopher.
"We bought the Cosco Gran Explorer Explorer Car Lift Shield seat because the company told us it was safe for our son," says Catalina Daniel. »The seat was not secure and did not protect Isaiah when he needed it. We have filed this lawsuit because we do not want any other family to fall into a false expectation of safety, and because we do not want another child to pay the price that Isaiah has had to pay »Parents of Isaiah.
The cases of Isaiah and Christopher are only some of those affected, in this News we can see how this manufacturer had already been sued seven times more for the same type of problem (in 2003 the figure amounts to 42 lawsuits)
Cosco has been sued at least seven times because of injuries or deaths due to shield restraint systems, according to court documents. «According to Cosco's instructions, in each case, the children were the correct size and weight to use the seat.»Says Robert Rohrbaugh, who represented the family of a 3-year-old girl who died in a Cosco Explorer chair with a shield in 1996
What makes this retention system seriously question your safety?
First of all, these safety seats based on a plastic padded shield that is fixed to the child's abdomen by fastening the car belt, do not have a harness to retain the upper torso. As a result, children are in danger of being thrown out of the seat, or experiencing excessive head movement that impacts the shield. These hazards have been documented in real-world testing and accidents.
In the case of Cosco, it was also recommended that children from 13 to 18 kg could use their shield without problem. But that was contrary to the advice of child safety experts who warn that children weighing less than 18 kg should not travel in this type of device.
As commented in the studies carried out, the american academy of pediatrics claims that tests and accidents have shown that children can be seriously injured or even die.
At dylan case , another of those affected, experts agree once again that children of this weight (less than 18 kg) who travel in this restraint system, having their top completely free, without straps to hold them to the device, can be thrown out of the chair.
It is true that the regulations in Canada, USA, Spain, France, etc. They may be different, but the laws of physics are not. Therefore, I think that the study presented by the UNECE where they show us how the dummies are thrown even in frontal collision without overturning.
The Dr. Joe Burton (world-renowned retention system expert and medical examiner, consulted by the US government, who testified in the 11 trials against Cosco) conducted a study of 1,000 cases of injured children. In an interview at NBC News He commented that it is impossible for a seat to protect the child in all types of accidents. But what proper safety seats can save a child's life. And adds, "A chair with a shield is not the right system" Here I leave a part of the interview translated because I think it is very interesting to know their conclusions:
Thompson: «Are parents warned against using the Cosco Shield Seat? »
Burton: » Yes, against any shield system, including the Cosco, which is the only one in which it is currently manufactured in the USA (before 2003) »
Thompson: "Tell us the kinds of problems you have seen when using these types of systems."
Burton: «A quadriplegic child, who cannot use his arms or legs. Serious brain damage (...) and lastly, deaths «.
“A person who has been informed, and knows that there is a difference between systems, would not choose a less secure device. And this shield system is a less secure device than many other types of child safety seats. "
Dr Burton in this case tells us about collisions that end in overturning or that have a vertical component (The frontal collision often presents this vertical vector, which we discussed in previous post and what can we see in this video EuroNCAP). According to him, the child is thrown and in the event of being trapped in the shield, it is shaken so that there can be serious injuries to the head, neck and marrow because there is no support in the upper part of the torso. And put the example: "It would be like banging your head on a table and your neck on the edge of it"
But there are cases in which this type of withholding works, according to Cosco. To this, Dr. Burton replied that it is possible. It seems that there are some children who, due to their body structure, fit in such a way that they are well restrained, but not all cases and, as we have already seen, not less than 18 kg.
How did the case end?
Finally, it all ended when the company stopped manufacturing this type of security in the US and has even published several comments on some of its pages (such as that of maxi-cosi).
In Australia these types of systems have never been allowed.
In Canada, in 1983, its use was banned in children weighing less than 18kg.
In the US, we will not currently find chairs with a shield in any store.
And Europe? Why are these studies and publications not being taken into account?