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Buckle Up: The Best Way to Prevent Child Injuries and Death

Car accidents are the number one killer of children aged three and older and cause 179,000 child injuries a year. Many times, however, these injuries and fatalities are avoidable with proper car seat use.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 71 percent of infant fatalities and 54 percent of toddler fatalities could have been avoided if children were properly secured in recommended car seats.

A new study published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine has found that parents are ignoring or unaware of the current child seat safety guidelines. The study analyzed data compiled by the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) from 2007 through 2009 on booster seat use. The study revealed that as children aged, proper car seat use decreased. It also found that minority children were less likely to follow the recommended guidelines. Children of parents who don't wear a seatbelt are also 23 times more likely to be unrestrained in the car.

The study ultimately recommends that more education on the child safety recommendations is needed to ensure that everyone knows how to keep their children safe while in the car.

What are the Recommended Car Seat Safety Guidelines?

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends the following car seat safety guidelines:

• Infants and toddlers up to the age two should be in a rear facing car seat

• Toddlers age two and up should stay in a forward facing car seat until they reach the maximum weight and height restrictions for the seat

• School age kids should use a booster seat until a seat belt fits correctly - generally this is when the child is four feet nine inches

• Older kids should sit in the back seat until they are 13 years of age.

Following the safety guidelines and making sure children are properly secured is the best way to prevent injury and death due to car accidents.

Source: CBSNews.com, "U.S. children at risk from poor adherence to car seat guidelines, study warns," Ryan Jaslow, August 8, 2012

Our firm handles cases with personal injury issues similar to the ones discussed in this article. For more information, please visit our car accidents page.

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