Safety Restraints Save Children’s Lives
Your car can be a dangerous place for your child. More children die from motor vehicle accidents than from any other type of mishap. The latest statistics show such incidents are declining. But many more could be prevented with proper safety restraints.
In a recent government report, researchers looked at the latest national data on deaths from motor vehicle accidents. They specifically looked at child deaths between 2002 and 2011. They broke down their findings into 4 age groups: younger than age 1, ages 1 to 3, 4 to 7, and 8 to 12.
Across all age groups, researchers noted a 43% drop in the number of children killed in car accidents. Yet, more than 9,000 children still died—more than one-third of them needlessly. Why? They weren’t wearing any type of safety restraint.
Car seat guidelines
By simply using a car safety seat, experts estimate the risk of death falls by 71% for infants and about 50% for children ages 2 and up. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends a car safety seat until the child has outgrown the forward-facing car seat. After a child has outgrown a forward-facing car seat, he or she should be restrained in a belt-positioning booster seat until the child is at least 4 feet, 9 inches tall and is at least 8 years old. All states also require car seats. But their upper age limits may differ.
The type of car safety seat you should use depends on your child’s age and size. In general, follow these guidelines to ensure your child is secure in your vehicle:
Choosing a Car Safety Seat
You have a lot to choose from when buying a car safety seat! These tips may help:
Need help installing a car safety seat? Call the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's hotline at 888-327-4236. Or visit it online.
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