ROSEMONT, Ill.Supplemental child restraints should be used by all children through age 8. When appropriate child safety restraint systemsbased on a child's age and weightare in use during motor vehicle crashes, the rates of mortality and serious injury significantly decrease. Most parents don't know that their older childrenages 4 to 8should use additional measures to protect them from serious injury or death in case of a crash.
In a literature review appearing in the June 2013 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (JAAOS), researchers highlight current North American child safety restraint systems usage recommendations and injury rates. The study found that even though most children up to age 3 were protected properly, almost half of the children killed were under age 5 and completely unrestrained in the vehicle.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's 2010 Fatal Injury Reports, National and Regional, motor vehicle crashes between 1999 to 2010 were the leading cause of death in children aged 1 to 17 years. But, child safety seats can reduce the risk of fatal injury by 71 percent for infants and 54 percent for toddlers in passenger cars.
"The safest position for a child is the rear center seat because side impact crashes are more likely to cause serious injury and fatality, with the greatest risk associated with perimeter seating," says lead author Dr. Walter H. Truong, a pediatric orthopaedic surgeon at Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare in Minnesota. The American Academy of Pediatrics advises parents to keep toddlers in rear-facing car seats until age 2.
Child Safety Restraint Systems By the Numbers
Findings and Recommendations
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American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons