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Notice to Readers: National Child Passenger Safety Week, February 12--18, 2006

In 2004, a total of 424 children aged 4--8 years died and more than 70,000 were treated in emergency departments for injuries sustained in motor vehicle crashes in the United States (1,2). The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and CDC recommend the use of booster seats for children who weigh at least 40 pounds, are less than 4 feet 9 inches tall, and are aged 4--8 years (3). This year, National Child Passenger Safety Week, February 12--18, 2006, will focus on booster seat use.

Despite increased attention and legislation governing booster seats, use of age-appropriate child restraints by passengers aged 4--8 years continues to lag behind use by younger passengers. Although child safety seat use is greater than 90% for infants and toddlers, booster seat use is estimated nationally at 10%--20% (3). Thirty-three states have enacted laws governing booster seat use, but only two states, Tennessee and Wyoming, have laws covering children through age 8 years.

Information about National Child Passenger Safety Week activities and child passenger safety is available from NHTSA at and from CDC at


  1. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) web-based encyclopedia. Available at
  2. CDC. WISQARS™ nonfatal injury reports. Available at
  3. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Improving the safety of older-child passengers: a progress report on reducing deaths and injuries among 4- to 8-year-old child passengers. Washington, DC: US Department of Transportation; 2005.
  4. CDC. Notice to readers: National Child Passenger Safety Week---February 14--20, 1999. MMWR 1999;48:83--4.

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Date last reviewed: 2/8/2006


Safer, Healthier People

Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report
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