Air bag-associated injury to a child in the front passenger seat

Alan L. Morrison, Dennis Chute, Stephen Radentz, Mario Golle, Juan C. Troncoso, John E. Smialek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We report the case of a 3.5-year-old front seat passenger who suffered significant head and neck injuries as a result of air bag deployment in a collision of <30 mph. These lesions included multiple abrasions of the lower half of the face, nose, forehead, and right ear, torn frenula, conjunctival petechiae, comminuted fractures of the left and right lateral frontal regions and fight parietal bone, diastatic fracture of the coronal suture, subgaleal and subarachnoid hemorrhages, cortical contusions, subluxation of the atlantooccipital joint, and fracture of the C4 vertebral body. These lesions are consistent with trauma secondary to the deploying air bag and the head striking the interior of the car. The findings in this case further support the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines of keeping children properly restrained, preferably in the back seat, or as far as possible from air bags.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)218-222
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Oct 5 1998


  • Air bag
  • Child
  • Frontal crash
  • Passenger

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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