KKH Study: One In Two Children In Accidents NOT Properly restrained

KKH Study: One In Two Children In Accidents NOT Properly restrained

Parents, it's time to take car safety rules for our children much more seriously than we do right now. This article will tell you why.

The results of a recent study on road-traffic related injuries by Singapore's KK Women's and Children's Hospital (KKH) are indeed shocking. 

The main points from the study that all of us, as parents, should be very concerned about are: 

  • One in two children inside a car during an accident were NOT in a child seat or properly restrained
  • More than 3 out of 5 children under the age of just 2 had NOT been restrained when an accident occurred. 

The results of the study analysed injuries caused by road traffic accidents among infants and children in Singapore from January 2012 to April 2016. They were released by the hospital on Thursday (September 14). 

The study

The study looked at 2,468 children up to the age of 16, who were admitted to the accident and emergency units of KKH and NUH within 24 hours of an accident. 

This included infants and children inside the vehicle during the accident, as well as pedestrians and those on bicycles and motorbikes

From those in a vehicle at the time of an accident, 51.1% were not restrained. Even more shocking - the figure was highest for little ones under the age of one, with 65.7% not restrained. 

The next highest figure was for kids between the ages of one and two - 61.5% were not restrained. 

For kids who were on a bicycle or motorbike at the time of the accident, 70% were not using proper restraints or safety devices such as bicycle seats and/or helmets.

Again, the number was higher was younger children. Among those under the age of 10, 88% were not using proper restraints.  

Lead researcher of the study Dr Chong Shu-Ling said that in comparison to other developed nations, Singapore's use of child seats and restraints left much to be desired. that compared to other advanced countries, the use of child seats and restraints in Singapore is “substantially wanting”.

“What’s even more worrisome is that the disregard for safety recommendations is seen beginning from early infancy,” said Dr Chong, who is a physician at KKH’s department of emergency medicine.

The injuries 

Almost one quarter of the kids in the study (24%) had to be hospitalised following traffic accidents. Most of them (67%) had soft tissue injuries and 5.4% needed surgery or CPR following serious injuries. 

Six little ones died of their injuries and 51 were admitted to the hospital's ICU. 

Nearly a quarter of the children in the study (24 per cent) required hospitalisation. The majority (67 per cent) had soft tissue injuries and a small proportion (5.4 per cent) were brought to the hospital in critical condition and needed cardiopulmonary resuscitation or surgery. Six children died of their injuries and 51 were warded in the intensive care unit.

Vehicle and bicycle accidents resulted in devastating injuries for little ones, leading to "severe paediatric head injuries resulting in death, neurological and physical deficits or poor quality of life". 


Dr Chong has called out to parents to adhere to car seat and traffic safety rules for children, and has also called out for more awareness to be created in general on car seat safety rules in Singapore. 

To read a comprehensive article by theAsianparent on car safety rules for children, click this link

More articles: 

Child Safety: Buckle Up!

9 Car seat safety tips for parents

How to choose a baby car seat

Watch: How to place your newborn in a car seat


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