The National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC) states that motor vehicle injuries were the single leading cause of death for children in the United States in 2005.
The NCIPC lists preventative measures to minimize the risks to your child.
Put Them in the Proper Safety Seat: Child safety seats reduce the risk of death in passenger cars by 71% for infants, and by 54% for toddlers ages 1 to 4 years.
Children Too Big for Safety Seats Should Use a Booster Seat: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommends booster seats for children over 40 pounds until they are at least 8 years of age or 4’9″ tall. For children 4 to 7 years, booster seats reduce injury risk by 59% compared to safety belts alone.
Young Children Should Not Be in the Front Passenger Seat: All children ages 12 years and younger should ride in the back seat. This eliminates the injury risk of deployed front passenger-side airbags and places children in the safest part of the vehicle in the event of a crash. Overall, for children less than 16 years of age, riding in the back is associated with a 40% reduction in the risk of serious injury. Appropriately restrained children ages 13 to 15 who sit in the front seat are not at increased risk for injury.
For additonal information about child safety in the car, please visit the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control website.