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Seat belts work. The National Highway Safety Administration estimates that correctly used safety belts reduce the risk of fatalities in automobile accidents by 45 percent and moderate to critical injuries by 50 percent.

In Indiana, wearing seat belts in the front seat is required, and children must be buckled into certified child carriers until age four whenever they ride in the car. Even short trips around the neighborhood or in your own driveway are safer with a seat belt.

Around the country, unintentional injuries cause the highest percentage of loss of productive life. Don't be a statistic. Make car safety a habit for yourself and your children. It could prevent serious injuries and even save your life.

AUTO INJURIES ARE MORE SERIOUS FOR CHILDREN

The typical parent simply misunderstands the momentum a child can have inside a car, even at low rates of speed.

The child is like a projectile impacting with the car -- the windshield, the seat backs, the dash. Little kids come in critically injured, with internal injuries, painful facial injuries, cuts on their eyes and no front teeth -- injuries that will leave them scarred for life -- and they are totally preventable.

Most health care providers worry more about short trips than long ones. Lots of parents think it's okay to leave the child without restraint just to go down the block to the store or even to move the car from one end of the driveway to the other. But even at low speeds, slamming on the brakes to avoid the neighbor's dog can be dangerous. Hundreds of children around the nation are seen every month with serious injuries resulting from lowspeed accidents.

By contrast, an infant is rarely injured when properly restrained in an infant seat. Even from accidents that experienced tremendous vehicular damage, infants are usually spared horrible injuries when an infant seat was used. The infant seats are like a pediatric cocoon and they really work. Those hard plastic shells are almost like little survival pods inside a car.

 

First published in the April/May 1996 issue of Good Health Magazine

Buckle Up for Safety!

It's true. Car crashes kill more people between the ages of one and forty-four than anything else. In fact, for people in their late teens and early twenties, car crashes account for more than 40% of all deaths. Why risk it? Your best protection against death and injury in your car is your seat belt. It's easy. Just reach over - click - and you're set. Think about it... and while you're thinking...

 

 

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