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Automobile Safety in Children: A Review of North American Evidence and Recommendations

Truong, Walter H. MD; Hill, Brian W. MD; Cole, Peter A. MD

JAAOS - Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons: June 2013 - Volume 21 - Issue 6 - p 323–331
doi: 10.5435/JAAOS-21-06-323
Review Article

In the United States, the rate of vehicle occupant deaths in children aged 1 to 3 years has decreased by over 50% in the past three decades. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that motor vehicle crashes remain the leading cause of death in children aged 1 to 17 years. Parental compliance with child safety seats is poor, with up to 99% of children in certain age groups improperly restrained. Epidemiologic data support the proper use of automobile restraint systems to save lives. When appropriate restraint systems (based on age and weight) are used, a significant decrease occurs in the rates of mortality and serious injury. Legislation and public service campaigns can increase awareness regarding appropriate use of automobile restraint systems to decrease pediatric injury and fatality rates. Fluency and awareness, rather than cost, have been found to be the main reasons for improper use of automobile restraint systems; appropriately targeted education programs should continue to be developed. Physicians are optimally poised to educate patients and parents about automobile safety.

From Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare, University of Minnesota (Dr. Truong), and Regions Hospital, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN (Dr. Hill and Dr. Cole).

Dr. Cole or an immediate family member serves as a paid consultant to and has received research or institutional support from Synthes and has stock or stock options held in Bone Foam. Neither of the following authors nor any immediate family member has received anything of value from or has stock or stock options held in a commercial company or institution related directly or indirectly to the subject of this article: Dr. Truong and Dr. Hill.

J Am Acad Orthop Surg 2013;21: 323-331

Copyright 2013 by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

© 2013 by American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
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