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Only about 10 percent of kids in the study were driven by grandparents, but they suffered proportionately fewer injuries.
Overall, 1.05 percent of kids were injured when riding with parents, versus 0.70 percent of those riding with grandparents, or a 33 percent lower risk. The difference was even more pronounced -- 50 percent -- when the researchers took into account other things that could influence injury rates, including not using car seats, and older-model cars.
Kids suffered similar types of injuries regardless of who was driving, including concussions, other head injuries and broken bones.
The study does not include data on deaths, but Henretig said there were very few. It also lacked information on the types of car trips involved; for example, driving in busy city traffic might increase chances for crashes with injuries.
Schofer, the Northwestern professor, said other unstudied circumstances could have played a role. For example, grandparents could be less distracted and less frazzled than busy parents dropping their kids off at school while rushing to get to work or to do errands. Driving trips might be "quality time" for older drivers and their grandchildren, Schofer said.
American Academy of Pediatrics car seat recommendations: http://bit.ly/rqmKhT
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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