Motor vehicle accidents are one of the leading causes of death in children in the United States. Between 2002 and 2011, about 9,000 children ages 12 and under were killed in motor vehicle accidents. And between 2009 and 2010, a total of 1400 children were killed in motor vehicle accidents.
In order to analyze trends pertaining to motor vehicle fatalities among children, the CDC analyzed data from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System. In addition to total number of deaths attributed to car accidents, researchers found that black children had higher death rates compared to white children and a higher proportion of those deaths were due to the child being unrestrained. And although the study did find that motor vehicle deaths declined from 2002 to 2011, one-third of the children who died in accidents were unrestrained.
Child safety seat (CSS) use can reduce the risk of death in infants by 71 percent, and by 54 percent in those children aged one to four years. In children four to eight, the use of a booster seat can reduce risk of death by 45 percent. Because of these factors, the CDC recommends using these types of restraints until a seatbelt fits appropriately, usually at about the age of 8. The Community Preventive Services Task Force recommends laws mandating child safety seat use as well as programs incorporating
According to the lead author of the report, Erin K. Sauber-Schatz, an epidemiologist with the CDC, We can do more to help protect our children on the road. We have to make sure that children are buckled into age- and size-appropriate seats and seatbelts on every trip, no matter how short the trip.
ACSH s Ariel Savransky had this to say: Clearly child safety seat use has the potential to save thousands of lives but there seems to be a barrier towards 100 percent compliance with these recommendations. In addition to these distribution and education programs, future research should also focus on the reasons as to why individuals choose not to use child safety seats when appropriate.