Comparison of a 6-year-old Child Finite Element Model to a Scaled Adult Model Using Simulated Fall Events for Three Levels of Surface Compliance
A newly developed finite element model of a 6-year-old child simulated the brain response to physical impacts onto low, moderate, and high compliance surfaces representing unhelmeted falls, helmeted falls, and well-padded conditions. Results for this model were compared against a scaled version of a currently available adult finite element model used in pre-vious concussive research. The purpose of this study was to com-pare trends of response and assess how material property defi-nitions, model geometry, and anatomical differences between models affect the peak strain response. The new 6-year-old model, showed lower peak maximum principal strains for low impact durations, but higher strains for moderate and long du-ration impacts. While both models had a tendency to produce similar values, the 6-year-old model still showed higher strains overall. For representative helmeted impacts, strains likely to cause a concussion were observed, even at a 3.0 m/s from the 6-year-old model. The newly developed model of a 6-year-old child showed different strain responses from a scaled adult model, identifying higher risk of concussive injury even in well-padded conditions.