In a recently released report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it has been revealed that 1 in every 3 children that were killed in auto accidents in 2011 were not using seatbelts, with almost half of black and Hispanic children that died in accidents from 2009-2010 were also not buckled up.
While past research has demonstrated that size and age-appropriate child seats and restraining systems are the most effective way for a child to survive a collision, unfortunately only 2 in every 100 children live in a state that requires such systems for children that are 8 years or younger.
Tom Frieden the director of the CDC commented:
"These are troubling numbers, especially since so many of these deaths could have been prevented.... Although we've made progress reducing the number of child passenger deaths, we can do more to protect our children."
In fact, in a study that was conducted by researchers at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, it was revealed that in states that had enforced child passenger restraint laws and INCREASED the required booster or car seat range to 7 or 8 years old, the use of these safety devices tripled and the rate of serious personal injury dropped by more than 15%.
In an effort to help increase the safety of child passengers, the CDC recommends that parents:
- Use a certified professional to install car seats or check your vehicle manufacturers owner's manual for the correct anchor points and method required to secure the safety seat in place
- Use booster seats, car seats or appropriate seat belts in the back seat for each trip
- For newborns up to 2 year old children, to use rear-facing, approved car seats
- For children older than 2 years old but only up to 5 years old, to use forward-facing car seats
- To use approved booster seats for children older than 5 years old that are not big enough to use a seat belt comfortably
- Use seat belts when they fit the child safely without using a booster seat
At the law offices of Gordon & Doner, we urge parents and all adults that have been given the responsibility of transporting children to ensure that they are safely secured in their appropriate seat and to use caution when driving on the roads of South Florida.