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Curr Opin Pediatr. 1999 Dec;11(6):583-7.

Preventing motor vehicle injuries.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, USA.


Prevention of injuries to child passengers is a significant public health priority, as motor vehicle-related injuries remain a leading cause of death for children. Improvements in child restraint use have contributed to significant declines in child occupant mortality rates over the past 20 years. However, although overall restraint use has improved, many children are currently not optimally restrained for their age. Errors in installing and using child safety seats, as well as the premature graduation of children to vehicle safety belts, contribute to reducing the effectiveness of restraints for children. Further prevention of motor vehicle occupant injuries to children will require the combined approaches of engineering, education, and enforcement. This review presents current information regarding inappropriate restraint of children and highlights current engineering, education, and legislative efforts to improve child occupant protection.

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