Pediatric cervical spine fracture caused by an adult 3-point seatbelt

Robert Jay Deutsch, Mohamed K. Badawy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The development and use of seatbelts has saved numerous lives and prevented serious injuries in the setting of automobile crashes. However, restraints designed for adults are not necessarily effective in preventing injury to small children and may actually be harmful. Here, we present a case of upper cervical spine fracture in a 5-year-old female patient caused by neck flexion over an inappropriately applied adult 3-point seatbelt during a motor vehicle collision. The American Academy of Pediatrics currently advises against the use of vehicle safety belts until the shoulder belt can be positioned across the chest with the lap belt snug across the thighs. As clinicians who care for children, it is imperative that we continue to educate parents about proper use of age-appropriate child safety restraints.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)105-108
Number of pages4
JournalPediatric emergency care
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2008


  • Booster seat
  • Cervical spine fracture
  • Motor vehicle collision
  • Seatbelt

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Emergency Medicine


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