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Please join Fedhealth, FSC, USFRA and our partners in a lifesaving project that benefits first responders and veterans. Fedhealth is printing custom USFRA disaster preparedness and first aid books in bulk for communities -- Learn more

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Rucker Law Firm, PLLC is a personal injury firm located in Houston, Texas. Practice areas include car, truck, and other vehicle accidents, Jones Act injury cases, oil industry injuries, slip and fall, dog bites, and wrongful death.

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Michael P. Fleming & Associates, P. C.

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Karen Loveless is a retired Firefighter/EMT -- now a professional songwriter. She wrote this song for all public servants...Thank You For The Job You Do!" click below to listen and learn more

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Motor vehicle injuries are the leading cause of death among children in the United States.1 But many of these deaths can be prevented. Placing children in age- and size-appropriate car seats and booster seats reduces serious and fatal injuries by more than half.2

How big is the problem?

  • In the United States during 2009, 1,314 children ages 14 years and younger died as occupants in motor vehicle crashes, and approximately 179,000 were injured.2
  • One CDC study found that, in one year, more than 618,000 children ages 0-12 rode in vehicles without the use of a child safety seat  or booster seat or a seat belt at least some of the time.3

What are the risk factors?

  • More than two-thirds of fatally injured children were killed while riding with a drinking driver.4
  • Restraint use among young children often depends upon the driver’s seat belt use. Almost 40% of children riding with unbelted drivers were themselves unrestrained.5
  • Child restraint systems are often used incorrectly. One study found that 72% of nearly 3,500 observed car and booster seats were misused in a way that could be expected to increase a child’s risk of injury during a crash.6

How can injuries to children in motor vehicles be prevented?

  • Child Passenger Safety
    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.2
  • There is strong evidence that child safety seat laws, safety seat distribution and education programs, community-wide education and enforcement campaigns, and incentive-plus-education programs are effective in increasing child safety seat use.7
  • According to researchers at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, for children 4 to 7 years, booster seats reduce injury risk by 59% compared to seat belts alone.8
  • Child passengers should never be seated in front of an airbag.  Airbags can injure or kill children in a crash that might otherwise have been survivable.

Parents and caregivers can:

  • Use a seat belt on every trip, no matter how short. This sets a good example.
  • Make sure children are properly buckled up in a seat belt, booster seat, or car seat, whichever is appropriate for their age, height and weight:
    • Rear-facing car seats. Infants should stay in rear-facing car seats as long as possible. Ideally, infants should remain in rear-facing car seats until they reach 2 years of age or until the infant reaches the upper weight and height limit for that particular seat.
    • Front-facing car seats. When infants move into front-facing car seats, they should remain in those seats through 4 years of age. However, it is safest to stay in a front-facing car seat until the height and weight limit of the seat is reached or the seat no longer fits.
    • Booster seats. Once children outgrow a front-facing car seat, they should use a booster seat until they are big enough for the seat belt to fit correctly. Most children need to remain in booster seats through at least 8 years of age. Children can stop using a booster seat when they can sit with their back against the seat back while their legs bend over the end of the seat. A seat belt fits properly when the lap belt lays across the upper thighs and the shoulder belt fits across the middle of the child’s shoulder and chest. This typically occurs when the child is 4’9” tall and between 8 and 12 years of age.
  • Have all children under age 13 sit in the back seat.
  • Never seat a child in front of an air bag.
  • Place children in the middle of the back seat when possible, because it is the safest spot in the vehicle.8

 

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