CDC: Child car seat use needs improvement

Atlanta – A downward trend in child fatalities in motor vehicle crashes can be further improved if every child is safely restrained, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In 2011, one-third of children who died in crashes were unrestrained. From 2002 to 2011, crash fatalities among children 12 or younger fell to 1.2 deaths per 100,000 population from 2.2 deaths per 100,000 population. From 2009 to 2010 – the most recently available high-detail data – this improvement was more pronounced among white children compared with Hispanic and African-American children, who also were much less likely to be restrained during a fatal crash.

The agency recommended increased community distribution of free child safety seats and further education for parents on appropriate child safety restraint use and installation, and called for more states to pass child safety restraint laws.

The report was published Feb. 4 in CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.