Vital Signs: Restraint Use and Motor Vehicle Occupant Death Rates Among Children Aged 0–12 Years — United States, 2002–2011
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Vital Signs: Restraint Use and Motor Vehicle Occupant Death Rates Among Children Aged 0–12 Years — United States, 2002–2011

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  • English

  • Details:

    • Alternative Title:
      MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep
    • Description:

      Motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death among children in the United States. Age- and size-appropriate child restraint use is the most effective method for reducing these deaths.


      CDC analyzed 2002–2011 data from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System to determine the number and rate of motor-vehicle occupant deaths, and the proportion of unrestrained child deaths among children aged <1 year, 1–3 years, 4–7 years, 8–12 years, and for all children aged 0–12 years. Age group–specific death rates and proportions of unrestrained child motor vehicle deaths for 2009–2010 were further stratified by race/ethnicity.


      Motor vehicle occupant death rates for children declined significantly from 2002 to 2011. However, one third (33%) of children who died in 2011 were unrestrained. Compared with white children for 2009–2010, black children had significantly higher death rates, and black and Hispanic children both had significantly higher proportions of unrestrained child deaths.


      Motor vehicle occupant deaths among children in the United States have declined in the past decade, but more deaths could be prevented if restraints were always used.

      Implications for Public Health

      Effective interventions, including child passenger restraint laws (with child safety seat/booster seat coverage through at least age 8 years) and child safety seat distribution plus education programs, can increase restraint use and reduce child motor vehicle deaths.

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