Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of injury to the pediatric spine, and the mortality rate of pediatric spinal trauma victims has been approximated at 25–32% [1]. In addition, non-fatal painful traumatic injuries resulting from motor vehicle crashes or sports-related activities contribute to an estimated prevalence of neck pain of 21–41% in children and adolescents [2]. It has been hypothesized that the anatomy of the pediatric neck, combined with a relatively large head mass, presents an increased risk for traumatic inertial loading in that population, particularly during early development. However, the relationship between mechanical metrics related to pain and age remains undefined, limiting the development of meaningful estimates of tolerance to painful injury in this population.

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