Tags: child | car | seat | safety

Few Kids use car Safety Restraints

Monday, 13 August 2012 10:48 AM

Few U.S. children are using recommended age-appropriate car safety restraints and many are placed at risk by riding in the front seat, according to new research published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.
Even though car crashes are the leading cause of death for children older than 3 years and send more than 140,000 children to the emergency room each year, a University of Michigan analysis of federal traffic safety statistics has found that low proportions of children meet American Academy of Pediatrics passenger safety guidelines issued last year.
Those guidelines recommend rear-facing car seats at least until the age of 2; forward-facing car seats with a five-point harness until the child is the maximum weight and height suggested by the manufacturer; booster seats until an adult seat belt fits properly, when a child reaches around 57 inches in height; and riding in the back seat until the age of 13.
"We found that few children remain rear-facing after age 1, fewer than 2 percent use a booster seat after age 7, many over age 6 sit in the front seat," said Dr. Michelle L. Macy, of the Child Health Evaluation and Research Unit of C.S. Mott Children's Hospital at the University of Michigan.
For the study, Macy and her colleagues evaluated three years of data – obtained for 21,476 children –from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration National Survey on the use of booster seats.
The information indicated that, as children aged, there was a decline in child safety seat use and an increase in being unrestrained. Within each age group, minority children demonstrated lower proportions of age-appropriate restraint use compared with white children, the study found.
"The most important finding from this study is that, while age and racial disparities exist, overall few children are using the restraints recommended for their age group, and many children over 5 are sitting in the front seat," said Macy. "Our findings demonstrate that not all children have been reached equally by community-based public education campaigns and the passage of child safety seat laws in 48 states."

© HealthDay

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Few children are using car safety restraints and many are placed at risk by riding in the front seat.
Monday, 13 August 2012 10:48 AM
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