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Notice to Readers: National Child Passenger Safety Week, February 9--15, 2003

In 2001, a total of 1,579 children aged <15 years died as occupants in motor-vehicle crashes in the United States, an average of 30 deaths per week (1). National Child Passenger Safety Week, February 9--15, 2003, will focus on efforts to improve the safety of children riding in motor vehicles, especially the importance of appropriate restraints such as child safety seats for infants and toddlers, booster seats for children aged 4--8 years who have outgrown their forward facing seats, and safety belts for children who have outgrown their booster seats (2). Additional steps to improve the safety of children riding in vehicles include placing children in the back seat when possible and avoiding placing children in rear-facing child seats in the front seat of vehicles equipped with passenger-side airbags (1).

The proper restraint of child passengers is improved through the combination of increased public education, strong child passenger safety laws, and rigorous enforcement of these laws. Additional information about National Child Passenger Week activities and child passenger safety is available from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Office of Communications and Outreach, 400 Seventh St., SW, NTS-21, Washington, DC 20590; fax 202-493-2062, http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov; and from CDC at http://www.cdc.gov/ncipc.

References

  1. U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Traffic safety facts 2001; publication no. DOT HS 809 471.
  2. CDC. National child passenger safety week---February 14--20, 1999. MMWR 1999;48:83--4.

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