Child Passenger Safety- injury information in the US

Angeles Mizilla By Angeles Mizilla, 23rd May 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>Family>Kids

Child Motor Vehicle injuries and fatalities are often times preventable.
Get up to date information on Child Passenger Safety and resources.

Motor Vehicle Crashes are one of the leading killers in America

"If a disease were killing our children at the rate unintentional injuries are, the public would be outraged and demand that this killer be stopped."
- C. Everett Koop, M.D., Sc.D., Former US Surgeon General

You can not always prevent a crash, but you can work toward injury prevention.
Compilations of our Child Passenger Safety Technicians Checklists show that over 73% of child restraints are incorrectly installed.

The first step to injury prevention is to use the right seat, that fits the child, fits your car and you will secure it correctly every time!

Also Remember Parents/caregivers are role models to children.

The children will not always hear what you say, but they will most often do what you do!
Children depend on parents and other caregivers/adults for protection in and around vehicles.

Buckle up and Drive responsibly.

For Current Injury Data in the US

Centers for Disease Control and Precention:

Children's Hospital of Philadelphia:

Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS):
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA):

NHTSA's National Center for Statistics and Analysis (NCSA):

Is your Child Restraint Suitable?

Always check the stickers on the seat for weight and height restrictions. If you have a seat that covers a broad range of height and weight, be certain the limits for the 5 point harness and at what point the manufacturer recommends removing the harness and turning the seat into a booster.

Always read manufacturers labels and keep the booklets that come with the seats in your car, along with your auto manual. Check up on them periodically to make sure as your child changes and grows, you are still within the recommendations of the manufacturer. (Also filling out the card that comes with your safety seat, and mailing it in, will be benificial in the event of safety recalls and manufacturer modifications)

On the seats stickers, always look for manufacture dates and be aware of expirations. YES, child safety seats do have an expiration!!!!
If no expiration date is clearly available, the general rule of thumb is 6 years from date of manufacture. This is because over time, the material will break down and become less effective with its job. <See Crash Force>

It is not recommended to use pre-owned child restraints.
If you are using a used seat, please know the complete history of the seat, Child Restraints are typically only good for one moderate to severe crash. Even a hairline fracture in the seat that you cannot see, can mean serious injury or death to your child, when if a non injured seat was used, it could have protected your child from any and all injury.

To determine weather or not your seat is safe after a crash, consider these factors

1. Can you see cracks or deformities in the seat? Any bulges or dents?
2. Can the vehicle with the Child Restraint installed be driven from the scene?
3. Is there damage to the Vehicle door nearest the Child Restraint?
4. Are there any occupant injuries?
5. Did the Airbags open?

If you answer yes to any of these questions, you likely need to replace your Child Restraint. (NHTSA recommends that a CR be replaced after moderate to severe crashes.)


Why is it important to follow the weight guidelines of the Child Restraint?

Because the material used for the "webbing" of the harness is only guaranteed by the manufacturer to sustain the weight of a crash biding by the current posted speed limits and the recommended weight of the child.

Weight x Speed = The amount of restraining force needed to ensure the restraint of the child.

if your child weighs 10 pounds and you are driving 30mph in a crash, your Child Restraint needs to hold your child with 300 lbs of restraining force.

This is also a good reason as to why we do not allow children to ride in cars unrestrained!

Stay tuned for more Child Passenger Safety Facts and Pointers!


Car Safety, Car Safety Tips, Car Seats, Child Safety

Meet the author

author avatar Angeles Mizilla
I am a single 34 year old woman. I work as a Case Aide with a Children Services agency in Ohio. I love photography, animals, reading, music, food and family. I primarily write from life experience.

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