Tags: child | traffic | deaths

Child Traffic Deaths Drop 43 Percent Over Last Decade: Report

Wednesday, 05 Feb 2014 04:32 PM

By Jonna Lorenz

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The number of child deaths in traffic accidents has declined 43 percent in the past decade, a new report found, and experts are attributing the drop to the use of car seats and booster seats.

A recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report of crash deaths from 2002 to 2011 found that one-third of children age 12 and younger who died in 2011 were not buckled up, The Associated Press reported.

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"The first step is buckling up. Every child, of every age, on every trip," Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the CDC, told The Associated Press.

Children accounted for 650 of the 21,000 deaths in 2011, and the decline in child deaths appears to be continuing with 637 in 2012.

While the report didn’t cite a cause for the decline, experts pointed to an increase in laws requiring car seats and booster seats.

Last month, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration proposed side-impact crash tests aimed at protecting young children.

According to USA Today, the NHTSA estimates that the proposal, which would use dummies simulating 12-month-old and 3-year-old passengers in tests simulating a T-bone crash, would save five lives a year.

Many existing child seats would already meet the new rule, acting NHTSA Administrator David Friedman said, according to USA Today. He estimated the cost to come into compliance for those requiring more padding at about 50 cents a seat.

Overall traffic fatalities also declined during the time frame the new CDC report examined to levels not seen since the 1940s, according to the AP.

The report found that almost half of black and Hispanic children who died in crashes in 2009 and 2010 were not buckled up, compared with about a quarter of white children. Frieden said community programs and subsidies can help families with car seats and booster seats.

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