Many parents still not placing children in safety seats properly: study

Fewer children died in roadway crashes in 2009, but many children still are not being placed in an appropriate child restraint or booster seat, new research (.pdf file) released Thursday by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows.

Findings from the 2009 National Survey of the Use of Booster Seats show:

  • 41 percent of 4- to 7-year-old children were restrained in booster seats, compared with 43 percent in 2008.
  • Restraint use for children 1 to 3 years old increased to 96 percent from 92 percent.
  • Restraint use among non-Hispanic black or African-American children improved slightly, although restraint use among Hispanic children was significantly lower than non-Hispanic children across all age groups.
A new NHTSA report (.pdf file) on child fatalities also shows:

  • 5,366 passenger vehicle occupants 14 and younger were involved in fatal crashes; 23 percent of those fatalities were unrestrained and 46 percent of fatally injured were unrestrained.
  • Child safety seats reduce fatal injury by 71 percent for infants and 54 percent for toddlers.
  • Child restraint use saved the lives of an estimated 309 children younger than 5.

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