Child occupant protection – Seminar May 31 2024 in Gothenburg

If you REALLY love car seats and keeping kids safe in cars then mark your calendar for May 31 2024.  And then show up in Gothenburg for a day in car seat heaven with some of the rockstars in this field.  It’s once again time for the awesome one day seminar hosted by SAFER with the title “Child occupant protection: Latest knowledge and future opportunities.  More information below with some highlights from earlier years.  

There are as usual presenters from all over the world and the event is hosted by my friend Lotta Jakobsson and Mats Svensson.  I first visited this event in 2009 and have been to every single seminar since then.  This year will be #7!  Presenters are all set and a more detailed program will be published shortly.  You will find more information here.  And don’t forget to register and book your flight plus hotel:-)

During the past 15 years there has been lots of highlights.  Below are a few out of many presentations which I found interesting:

2009:  First time ever for the event.  I thought it was a really special day and wrote a post on our blog titled “A day in car seat heaven”, found here.  Schedule for 2009 found here.

2009: Hans Norin from Chalmers/SAFER with a summary of how Sweden has protected kids in his presentation “History of Child Safety in Sweden”.  Always nice to see how long ago we started focusing on kids safety in cars.  

2013:  How kids are supposed to sit in their car seats and what happens in reality can be very different.  Isabelle Stockman at Volvo, who I also work with at SIS TK242, presented “How children sit and behave in cars during driving and critical events”.  Parents look at crash test videos on YouTube where everything looks perfect.  Reality is very different.  Schedule from 2013 here.

2015: Crash test dummies are constantly improving but are still far from being like young children.  Paul Lemmen from Humanetics went through developments in his presentation “Overview of ongoing child dummy development and roadmap for implementation”.  Especially interesting looking back since we recently started using Q-dummies for R129 and Plus Test.  Schedule for 2015 found here.

2017: Suzanne Tylko from Transport Canada with her presentation “Capabilities of current dummies to evaluate child restraints and booster designs in light of child behavior and product innovations”.  Connected to the presentation from 2015 by Humanetics and looked closer at how capable dummies are today. Schedule from 2017 found here.

2019: The booster/high back booster brand mifold was absolutely destroyed by Matthew Reed from UMTRI (USA) in his presentation “Boosters that don’t boost – a belt fit study”.   The presentation looked at boosters that work poorly, or not at all.  A picture was shown with some of the many issues.  See photos above.

In the Q&A afterwards others experts agreed with Matthews conclusions and some mentioned it would be better to only use seat belt instead of the mifold booster.  Interesting presentation with a Q&A filled with details.  Schedule from 2019 found here.

2022: Lotta Jakobsson from Volvo with her presentation “Real world protection of booster-seated children”.  Lotta talks about these challenges all the time but most parents are kind of shocked at her research and advice.  She talks a lot about the importance of booster cushions and how these can be safer than a high back booster for older and larger children.  Also how features in seats many parents find appealing are  questionable and could actually make safety worse.  Like side impact cushions, fourth attachment point for seat belt, belt pad on chest of child, etc.  

Lotta’s presentation is especially interesting since it’s a good mix of research combined with common sense and everyday challenges.  She had a similar presentation in 2017 titled “The balance of vehicle and booster protection. Why ban the booster cushion?” and another one during the event 2013.  Schedule from 2022 found here.

2022: Magdalena Lindman from the insurance company Volvia and her presentation “Child restraint use in Sweden”.  Basically a summary of their accident database.  Always nice to see habits of Swedish kids.  We do many things very well and have an amazing percentage of kids rear facing for a long time.  BUT……  There is still lots we can do better.

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