Fatal air bag mediated craniocervical trauma in a child

Brian K. Willis, Jodie L. Smith, Lyim D. Falkner, Donald D. Vernon, Marion L. Walker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Scopus citations


This case report describes a 5-year-old child who sustained fatal craniocervical injuries as the result of an inflating automobile air bag. Although air bags have in general been shown to reduce the severity of injury to occupants of vehicles involved in front-end collisions, a growing number of incidents suggests that in some instances the air bag system itself may cause injuries, some of which can be serious or even fatal. Small children and infants in infant seats travelling in the front passenger seat appear to be particularly at risk. The increasing number of reports of air bag mediated injuries highlights the need for changes in both system design and possibly the threshold speed required for air bag deployment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)323-327
Number of pages5
JournalPediatric Neurosurgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jan 1 1996


  • Air bag mediated injury, child
  • Brain injury, air bag
  • Motor vehicle accident, air bag
  • Spine injury, air bag

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology

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    Willis, B. K., Smith, J. L., Falkner, L. D., Vernon, D. D., & Walker, M. L. (1996). Fatal air bag mediated craniocervical trauma in a child. Pediatric Neurosurgery, 24(6), 323-327. https://doi.org/10.1159/000121062