Richard C. Burnstine,
M.D., FAAP, of Buffalo
Grove, Ill., died Feb. 21 at
age 86. He was a past president of the AAP Illinois
Francis T. Curis, M.D.,
FAAP, of Orange, Conn.,
died Feb. 7 at age 86.
James R. Duke, M.D.,
FAAP, of San Antonio, Texas, died Jan. 17 at age 88.
Charles H. Gleason,
M.D., FAAP, of Charlottesville, Va., died Feb. 7 at age 92.
Modesto S. Gometz, M.D., FAAP, of Pittsburg, Kan., died Jan. 31 at age 81.
Henry Novis, M.D., FAAP, of Kissimmee,
Fla., died Jan. 31 at age 83.
Joan L. Voris, M.D., FAAP, of Fresno, Calif., died Feb. 11 at age 75.
Frank Weiner, M.D., FAAP, of Houston,
died Jan. 24 at age 85.
by Trisha Korioth • Staff Writer
Child passengers in Chile are much safer now,
thanks in part to Chilean and AAP pediatricians
who collaborated to help shape a new automobile
All children up to age 12 now must sit in the back
seat. In addition, child restraint systems are required
for children up to age 9, and children ages 9-12
must wear seat belts. Like in the U.S., the Chilean
law also bases the type of restraint system to use on
the child’s height and weight. The new regulations
will result in an estimated 30% reduction in deaths.
The Academy has been collaborating with the Sociedad Chilena de Pediatria (SOCHIPE, Chilean
Pediatric Society), as it advocated for the stronger
laws to protect children.
The regulation for children up to age 12 to sit in
the back seat took effect last year, and the seat restraint regulation was enacted last month. Violating
these regulations carries big consequences. Drivers
are subject to a hefty fine (66,000 to 132,000 pesos, or about U.S. $100 to $200) and suspension of
driving privileges for up to 45 days.
“For safety, following these regulations will be a
huge improvement. Children sitting in the back seat
are much less likely to be injured,” said Marilyn J.
Bull, M.D., FAAP, who consulted with Chilean pediatricians. A transportation safety expert, Dr. Bull
has represented the Academy as
liaison to the National Child Passenger Safety Board.
Road traffic incidents are the
leading cause of death for children ages 1-14, according to
Chile’s Traffic Safety Commission (CONASET). The rate of
child mortality due to road traffic injuries in Chile
is almost three times higher than the U.S. and 27
times higher than Sweden.
“Many of these deaths and injuries in crashes are
preventable,” Dr. Bull said.
The previous law only required children ages 8 or
under to ride in the back seat and those ages 4 and
under to be seated in child restraint systems.
Despite the law, eight in 10 parents did not
use safety restraints on daily trips, according to a
SOCHIPE statement. This behavior could be attributed to the lack of regulation, awareness and
knowledge about the importance of safety seats for
protection, according to Sergio Rendich, M.D., of
Santiago, Chile, SOCHIPE transportation safety
committee chair and collaborator with CONASET.
Some families are not happy with the law because
they must buy new car seats, and large families face
challenges with working out safe seating arrange-
ments, said Dr. Rendich.
“As SOCHIPE, we want to help in this area, teach-
ing health professionals the proper installation, so
they can check out how the parents installed them
and eventually correct any mistake,” he said. “We
must help parents to fulfill the law with education,
understanding and comprehension as a way to make
them understand the risks about transporting their
children not tied or fastened, and the advantages
from transporting them protected by a child safety
To help address these issues, Gary A. Smith, M.D.,
Dr.P. H., FAAP, a member of the AAP Council on In-
jury, Violence and Poison Prevention (COIVPP) and
Kyran P. Quinlan, M.D., M.P.H., FAAP, COIVPP
chair, also have met with government traffic safety
representatives and pediatricians. They presented
AAP information on evidence and training, and lent
the Academy’s support to Chile to help motivate
parents to comply with the changes.
Chile has launched a national awareness campaign to educate parents ( http://www.conaset.cl/
sillas-infantiles/). Transportation safety experts and
SOCHIPE are working to bring pediatricians up to
speed on how to incorporate child passenger safety
education into child visits.
Although the new laws do not specifically address
safety for children with disabilities, Dr. Bull said the
needs of these children are on their radar.
The Academy continues to work with SOCHIPE
on improving child passenger safety and common
goals. Other Latin American countries have expressed interest in the Academy’s assistance to duplicate Chile’s efforts.
“We know that to implement a successful occupant protection program, it takes engineering, which
is the car seat; it takes education, which is the training we do for families, community and culture; and
it takes enforcement,” said Dr. Bull. “These all must
work in concert for the optimal outcome.”
Sergio Rendich, M.D., is dedicated to improving
safety for kids in cars in Chile by educating parents about new child passenger safety laws that he
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• Sociedad Chilena de Pediatria, http://www.sochipe.cl/
• AAP car seat information for families (available in