About Child Dummies:

These dummies have been important in the development of protective measures for children in vehicles. The old days of holding the children on the laps of the parents are gone. Under deceleration following an impact the child's effective weight can be multiplied 10 to 20 times making them impossible to hold. Thus this line of dummies is necessary for the test engineer and vehicle developer to use in providing effective crash protection for smaller, younger occupants.

Why we test with Child Dummies

Many issues come up with children in cars. First is restraint—people have let children ride on running boards of older cars, sit in the back of pickup trucks, ride standing up, ride in boxes as infants or on their mother’s lap. In all these cases there is nothing to prevent the child from hitting the inside of the car at high speed or from being ejected out onto the road and suffering serious or fatal injury. Also children unrestrained in the rear seat may fly forward injuring front seat occupants in a crash. Child restraints—baby carriers, child seats, and booster seats all must be tested to insure that they restrain the children in the seats and do not injure them in doing so. In addition the child dummy has helped in the development of the smart air bag which controls its response so as not to injure lighter occupants.

History of Child Dummies

Child dummies were part of the original development of the crash test dummy. The Hybrid II adult frontal impact dummy was written into the Federal Code in 1973. After development by Alderson Research Labs in the 1970’s the SA103C three year old child dummy was introduced to the code in 1979. Other dummies of different designs followed as listed in the year of introduction to the Code of Federal Regulations. There are two three year olds, the first in the VIP style and the second being a modern Hybrid III version. There are three 6 year olds, the first is a Hybrid II style, the second is a Hybrid III style, and the third is the Hybrid III with weight added to fill in a gap in the dummy series. Different companies provided different designs for these dummies-always with the idea of extending the range of test capability to fit the child requirements. A parallel development in Europe was undertaken with the development of the child “P” dummies one of which is in the Federal Code. The “Q” dummy series a modernization of the P dummies has been under development recently in Europe and the U.S. by Humanetics.These dummies are also listed in U.S. Code of Federal Regulations Title 49 “Transportation” 49CFR part 571 Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards subparts .208 “Occupant Crash Protection” and .213 “Child Restraint Systems”. They are also referred to in Title 14 Aerospace for the testing of child seats to be used in aircraft.

Future Child Dummies

Continued development of the child Q dummies will probably result in their being introduced into the regulations in the United States and Europe. Some child dummies are being adapted for side impact use so that dummies may be tending toward multi-directional use with some necessary modifications.

Child Dummy Review

Various companies provided different designs for these dummies-always with the idea of extending the range of test capability to fit the child requirements. Sizes, weights, and properties such as rib stiffness required the introduction of these many dummies into the Federal Code. This has allowed the child seat manufacturer for cars, buggies and aircraft to effectively test their products for the safe transport of children of all ages and sizes.

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