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Child Passenger Safety- Buckle Up Every Age, Every Trip

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued this bulletin on child02/05/2014 regarding child passenger safety.

 Motor vehicle crash deaths among children age 12 and younger decreased by 43 percent from 2002-2011; however, still more than 9,000 children died in crashes during that period, according to a new Vital Signs report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Research has shown that using age-and size-appropriate child restraints (car seats, booster seats, and seat belts) is the best way to save lives and reduce injuries in a crash. Yet the report found that almost half of all black (45 percent) and Hispanic (46 percent) children who died in crashes were not buckled up, compared to 26 percent of white children (2009-2010).

CDC analyzed 2002–2011 data from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System, collected by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, to determine the number and rate of motor-vehicle occupant deaths, and the percentage of child deaths among children age 12 and younger who were not buckled up.

The Vital Signs report also found that:

•  One in three children who died in crashes in 2011 was not buckled up.

•  Only 2 out of every 100 children live in states that require car seat or booster seat use for children age 8 and under.

Child passenger restraint laws result in more children being buckled up. A recent study by Eichelberger et al, showed that among five states that increased the required car seat or booster seat age to 7 or 8 years, car seat and booster seat use tripled, and deaths and serious injuries decreased by 17 percent.

To help keep children safe on the road, parents and caregivers can:

  • Use car seats, booster seats, and seat belts in the back seat—on every trip, no matter how short.
  • Install and use car seats according to the owner’s manual or get help installing them from a certified Child Passenger Safety Technician.
  • Buckle children age 12 and under in the back seat.

Learn more about the importance of child passenger safety and steps that can be taken to keep children safe on the road.

Visit CDC Vital Signs: http://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/ChildPassengerSafety/

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