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Study highlights importance of proper child safety restraint use

Children dying in car crashes are horrible events that no family should ever have to deal with. There are many different factors that come into the picture for these accidents. One of these is the location of the crash. The northeastern portion of the United States has the lowest rate of child deaths from car crashes and the southern area has the highest rate.

A recent study regarding deaths of children who were under 15 years old shows some very interesting points. The study, conducted by Harvard and UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers, looked at child deaths from 2010 to 2014. Here are some interesting findings:

Child safety seats and restraints matter

One of the issues noted is that the rate of childhood deaths in the south seemed to have been impacted by the lax use of restraints and child safety seats, especially when drivers were on rural roads. The study found that a 10 percent increase in child safety restraint usage would save around 230 kids from death each year.

The study made note of how having strict state laws regarding child restraint use and serious enforcement of those laws makes a difference. Ultimately, the goal of states and safety organizations should be improving the proper use of child safety seats and restraints.

Deeper into the analysis

During the period from 2010 to 2014, there were more than 18,000 fatal accidents involving children. Not all of these had a child as the victim who died. In fact, only around 16 percent of those fatal crashes had a child fatality. That equates to 2,885 children who died due to fatal car crash injuries in a four-year period.

New York was one of the states with the lowest rate of child fatalities in car crashes. The state's rate of death per 100,000 children was .29, which roughly equates to one child out of every 400,000 dying in a fatal crash per year.

Taking the percentage of child fatalities into account shows another side of the issue. Nebraska topped the list of states with a 30-percent fatality rate. New York didn't make the top 10 for fatality percentage, but it was close. It tied for 11th place with a 20-percent fatality rate. West Virginia, Kansas, and North Dakota also had this same percentage.

Interestingly, New Jersey came in as one of the states with the lowest percentage of child deaths with 11 percent. Only New Hampshire fared better with an 8-percent rate.

All adults should take the time to ensure children are restrained properly. This could prove to be a life-saving action if the vehicle is involved in a crash.

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