Parents, for once, restrain your children

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 1, 2001

Nearly 1,800 children 14 and under die every year in car accidents, and more than 274,000 are injured.

Thirty percent of these are restrained, but only four out of five are restrained properly, according to the National Safe Kids Campaign.

In February, Safe Kids released the results of a national evaluation on the effectiveness of child restraint safety laws. Twenty-four states received failing grades; Alabama received an &uot;F,&uot; scoring only 41 out of a possible 100 points.

&uot;These harsh grades reflect the harsh reality that too many states allow adults to improperly protect their children,&uot; says Heather Paul, executive director of the National Safe Kids Campaign.

Each state was graded based on the following criteria: restraint use required through age 15; appropriate child restraint requirement by age, proper child safety-seat adjustment; public education/public fund; penalty provisions for violations; and driver and circumstance exceptions.

The study compared child restraint laws to a &uot;model law.&uot; Some of the requirements of the law included:

– requiring children up to age 15 to ride restrained in all seating positions;

– requiring children up to age eight to be properly secured in all seating positions in a child safety seat or a booster seat that is appropriate for the child’s age and size;

– providing a public fund and education campaign to promote child-passenger safety;

– requiring a public fund of a child safety seat loaner/giveaway program.

So many deaths that cannot be prevented. Some diseases simply have no reliable cure. Car crashes are diseases of their own kind because so many children are dying because of them.

But, restraining children properly is one reliable cure for so many deaths that occur every day.

For once, parents, restrain your children.