Child passenger safety

Pediatrics. 2011 Apr;127(4):e1050-66. doi: 10.1542/peds.2011-0215. Epub 2011 Mar 21.


Despite significant reductions in the number of children killed in motor vehicle crashes over the past decade, crashes continue to be the leading cause of death for children 4 years and older. Therefore, the American Academy of Pediatrics continues to recommend inclusion of child passenger safety anticipatory guidance at every health-supervision visit. This technical report provides a summary of the evidence in support of 5 recommendations for best practices to optimize safety in passenger vehicles for children from birth through adolescence that all pediatricians should know and promote in their routine practice. These recommendations are presented in the revised policy statement on child passenger safety in the form of an algorithm that is intended to facilitate their implementation by pediatricians with their patients and families. The algorithm is designed to cover the majority of situations that pediatricians will encounter in practice. In addition, a summary of evidence on a number of additional issues that affect the safety of children in motor vehicles, including the proper use and installation of child restraints, exposure to air bags, travel in pickup trucks, children left in or around vehicles, and the importance of restraint laws, is provided. Finally, this technical report provides pediatricians with a number of resources for additional information to use when providing anticipatory guidance to families.

Publication types

  • Technical Report

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Traffic / mortality*
  • Accidents, Traffic / prevention & control
  • Adolescent
  • Air Bags / standards
  • Air Bags / statistics & numerical data
  • Algorithms
  • Benchmarking
  • Cause of Death
  • Child
  • Child Restraint Systems / standards
  • Child Restraint Systems / statistics & numerical data
  • Child, Preschool
  • Health Promotion / standards*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Risk Factors
  • Safety Management / standards*
  • Seat Belts / standards
  • Seat Belts / statistics & numerical data
  • United States
  • Wounds and Injuries / mortality
  • Wounds and Injuries / prevention & control*