Know the Facts:Motor vehicle crashes are the
leading cause of unintentional injury-related deaths for children 14 and under.
Inappropriately restrained children are nearly three and half times more likely
to be seriously injured in a crash than those who are appropriately restrained.
In 2003, more than 200,000 children were injured as occupants in motor vehicle-related
crashes. When used correctly, child safety seats reduce the risk of death by
71 percent for infants and 54 percent for children ages one to four.
Children ages 12 and under should ride buckled up in the back seat in a child
safety seat, booster seat or safety belt.
- Infants should ride in a rear-facing infant seat until they are at least one-year-old
and weigh at least 20 pounds.
- Use a convertible or forward facing safety seat until the child outgrows it
- up to about four and when the child weighs 40 pounds.
- All children who have outgrown child safety seats should be properly restrained
in booster seats until they are at least eight years old, unless they are 4-feet
9-inches tall. Adult safety belts alone do not sufficiently protect children
weighing less than 80 pounds from injury in a crash. Children can't ride comfortably
and remain properly restrained until they are tall enough for the knees to
bend over the edge of the seat when their backs are resting firmly against
the back seat. If the shoulder portion of the lap-shoulder belt comes across
the neck, rather than the chest, they should be in a booster seat.
It is important that all children learn about safe school bus rules. Here are
some helpful bus safety rules for children:
- While waiting for the bus, take five giant steps from the curb until the bus
has stopped completely.
- Stay seated at all times.
- Keep head, arms and hands inside the bus. Never throw anything out of the
- Always hold on to the bus handrails to prevent falling.
- Be careful that clothing, book bags, and key rings don't get caught in the
handrails or doors.
- When getting off the bus, take five giant steps away from the bus, and stay
on the sidewalk.
- If you drop something near the bus, tell the bus driver. Otherwise, the bus
driver may not be able to see you.
Parents, looking for ways to teach your kids about these important messages
- visit the Parents' Page!
Highway Traffic Safety Administration, National
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