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WMJ. 2001;100(2):47-52.

Child restraint systems: an update for physicians.

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  • 1University of Wisconsin Children's Hospital, Madison, USA.


During the past decade, many advances have been made in motor vehicle safety restraint systems, and these advancements have brought changes in the recommendations for child passenger safety. In spite of these advances, a high morbidity and mortality rate continues to be attributed to improper or absent child restraint use. Child transportation safety is a complex issue. Lack of public awareness and incomplete laws contribute to the confusion. The solution involves professional and public education, further technological advances, and advocacy for improved legislation and regulation. Physicians have a unique opportunity to incorporate advice about proper restraint use into their daily practice; however, that requires a clear understanding of the current recommendations. Both the age and weight of the child determine the appropriate child restraint system. Understanding, practicing, and promoting these recommendations will save lives. This article reviews the current recommendations for proper child restraint while traveling in a motor vehicle.

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