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January 3, 1972

Traumatic Paraplegia in Infancy

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Neurosurgery, State University of New York at Buffalo, School of Medicine and Affiliated Hospitals.

JAMA. 1972;219(1):38-41. doi:10.1001/jama.1972.03190270018004

Two infants were rendered paraplegic in automobile accidents. The spinal cord injuries were at the levels customarily found in spinal injuries: the low cervical and upper thoracic areas. However, x-ray films of the spine failed to show any fracture-dislocation, and this lack of radiological evidence of injury is supported in the literature. Our findings here support the belief that the front seat of an automobile is the most dangerous location for an unrestrained child at any age. Infants who are improperly restrained or are unrestrained in the mother's lap are likely to be thrown forward at impact and suffer severe injuries or death. A proper restraining system allows for the infant's height and weight and offers maximum protection. These unfortunate injuries can be prevented by parental insistence on the proper restraints.