Car Seats Remain Dangerously Underused, Study Finds

A third of children who died in car accidents in 2011 were not properly restrained in car seats or age-appropriate boosters or buckles, a new study published in the Morbility and Mortality Weekly Report has found.  The New York Times has more:

More than 9,000 children under 12 died in motor vehicle accidents from 2002 to 2011, in many cases because they were not properly restrained in child seats or seatbelts.

Though the death rate decreased over those years, to 1.2 per 100,000 children in 2011 from 2.2 in 2002, seatbelts would have saved many more lives, according to a study published in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

In 2011, 33 percent of children who died in motor vehicle accidents were not buckled in. While only 2 percent of children under age 1 rode unrestrained, 22 percent of those in that age group who died were unbuckled. An estimated 3,308 children under 4 are alive today because they were properly buckled in.

In 2009-10, there were no differences in death rates by age or sex, but black children had a death rate about 46 percent higher than Hispanics and non-Hispanic whites.

Another recent study also found that car seat safety practices differ among racial and ethnic groups, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently announced new safety standards that would protect children in side-impact crashes, a common scenario for car accidents involving children.

Wondering if your car seat is appropriate and safe for your child?  Check out Parents.com’s 6 smart car seat safety rulesOr click here for the American Academy of Pediatrics’ guidelines on car safety for newborns through 13-year-olds.

How is your child’s growth and development compared to others the same age? Check our growth chart to help estimate her percentiles.

Avoid a Car-Seat Mistake
Avoid a Car-Seat Mistake
Avoid a Car-Seat Mistake

Image: Child in a car seat, via Shutterstock

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  1. by Over 600,000 a year | BlessAndKeepMom.com

    On February 11, 2014 at 3:03 pm

    [...] Facebook just now and saw a short blurb from Parents Magazine about car seat usage, you can find it here. I am so surprised to hear that a lot of parents will take their babies, toddlers and small [...]