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Child restraint systems provide specialized protection for pediatric motor vehicle occupants whose body structures are still immature and growing. There are many occupant protection systems available and the different types of restraints are appropriately matched to children based primarily on their ages and sizes. Even with the most appropriate child restraint, the way in which it is installed and used can affect its performance. This review describes the basic principles behind the design of occupant restraint systems and applies them to the needs of children. It also includes a brief overview of child restraint testing procedures and their limitations. Each section describes research and insight behind current best practice concepts, primarily from the US perspective. 

The pdf version of this website was published as the January-March 2012 edition of the UMTRI Research Review, and is available as a standalone download through the PDF tab on this page. This website includes the content of the document, links to references, downloadable images, and videos. Content will be updated as new research relevant to best practice is published.