Child Passenger Safety

Child Safety

Definition: Child passenger safety requires consistent use of correctly installed safety seats, booster seats, or seat belts that are appropriate for a child's size and age.

Magnitude of the Problem

  • Motor vehicles crashes are the leading cause of death among children, according to the CDC.
  • An average of 4 children, ages 14 and under, were killed, and 529 were injured every day in motor vehicle crashes, in 2008 (NHTSA)
  • According to Safe Kids:
    • 31% of the passenger deaths for children under the age of 4 and 42% of passenger deaths for children ages 4-7 were not restrained in 2009.  Child safety seats and belts can reduce fatal injury by up to 71% for infants and 54% for children ages 1-4.
    • Approximately 1,900 children ages 0-14 die in motor vehicle-related accidents every year since 2000.


Strategies to improve child passenger safety include:

  • child safety seat laws, which have been adopted by all states and which have reduced fatal injuries to children by 35% and all injuries to children by 17%
  • child safety seat distribution and education
  • community-wide information and enhanced enforcement campaigns
  • incentive and education programs that provide rewards to parents or children for the purchase and proper use of child safety seats
  • safety seat education that is provided by health care professionals in clinical settings