Child Passenger Safety
When used correctly, child passenger safety seats are 71 percent effective in reducing fatalities; 67 percent effective in reducing the need for hospitalization; and 50 percent effective in preventing minor injuries.
In a crash at 30 miles per hour, an unrestrained 10-pound baby would be torn from its parent's arms and hurled into the dash or windshield with a sledgehammer force of 300 pounds. Only an approved, properly used child seats can begin to protect a child in a crash.
One of the leading killers of children in the U.S. is trauma in motor vehicle crashes. The proper use of child safety seats would have prevented most of these deaths.
In the United States in a recent year, it was estimated that 279 children under age 5 were saved as a result of child passenger safety restraint use.
If 100 percent of motor vehicle occupants under 5 years old were protected by child safety seats, an estimated 532 lives could have been saved in a recent year in the United States.
In a thirteen year period, an estimated 2,934 lives were saved by the use of child restraints (child safety seats or adult belts.)
In a recent year in Ohio, only 47.6 percent of children were restrained in child safety seats or safety belts, leaving 52.4 percent of children unrestrained.
To be effective, a car safety seat must be used correctly. Be sure to follow the instructions that come with the safety seat. You should also read the vehicle owner's manual for installation instructions. Some of the most common and highly dangerous misuse errors involve:
· A rear-facing infant seat that is positioned so it faces the front of the vehicle, instead of the rear.
· Not putting harness systems on child or not making the harness snug enough.
· Use of an automatic safety belt system with a safety seat without reviewing the vehicle manufacturer's instructions that refer to use of such a system with a child safety seat.