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Vital Signs

CDC’s Top 3 Motor Vehicle Safety Tips for Doctors and Their Patients

The February 2014 CDC Vital Signs™ urges health care professionals to counsel parents about the importance and effectiveness of buckling up their children, to save their lives and reduce injuries in a crash. CDC injury expert Erin Sauber-Schatz, PhD, MPH discusses CDC’s top 3 motor vehicle safety tips for doctors and their patients. Motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death for U.S. children, although deaths have gone down in the past decade. The Vital Signs report finds that a third of children who died in crashes in 2011 were not buckled up. And the report found that almost half of all black (45 percent) and Hispanic (46 percent) children who died in crashes were not buckled up, compared to 26 percent of white children (2009-2010). Research has shown that using age- and size-appropriate child restraints (car seats, booster seats, and seat belts) is the best way to save lives and reduce injuries in a crash. Child passenger restraint laws result in more children being buckled up. Only 2 out of every 100 children live in states that require car seat or booster seat use for children age 8 and under.

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