Highway safety continues to be a major health problem for children in Mississippi.The key factor in the number of death and crippling injuries for Mississippi’s children is notdues to measles, mumps etc., but due to the lack of or the improper use of child restraint inmotor vehicles. Consider the alarming facts in the text box below. These figures are providedby the Center for Disease Control (CDC) on their web page. (See below in text box)
TAKEN FROM NATIONAL CENTERFOR INJURY PREVENTION AND CONTROL
Motor vehicle injuries are the greatest public health problem facing children today. In fact, they are the leading cause of death among children at every age after their first birthday.
In 2000, 1,471 child passengers ages 0 to14 died in motor vehicle crashes in the United States(
2001a), and more than 250,000 sustained injuries requiring treatment in an emergencydepartment (WISQARS 2001). Many of these injuries could have been prevented.
Of the children ages 0 to 12 years who were killed in motor vehicle crashes during 1999–2000,52% were unrestrained, 18% were incorrectly restrained, and 35% were riding in the front seat.(NHTSA 2001a).
Fewer than 10% of 5- to 8-year-olds use booster seats, the recommended safety seat for this agegroup (Durbin 2001).
Child safety seats reduce the risk of death in passenger cars by about 70% for infants and byabout 55% for toddlers ages 1 to 4 (NHTSA 2001b).
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommends booster seats for children over40 pounds until at least age 8 (NHTSA 2002).
For children ages 9 years and older, car seat belts reduce injury risk by about 50% (NHTSA2001b).
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 theevent of a crash. Riding in the back seat is associated with a 46% reduction in the risk of fatalinjury in cars with a front passenger-side airbag and at least a 30% reduction in the risk of fatalinjury in cars with no front passenger-side airbag (Braver 1998).