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CDC: Motor Vehicle Occupant Death Rates Down for Children

However, one-third of children who died in motor vehicle crashes in 2011 were unrestrained

TUESDAY, Feb. 4, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The rate of motor vehicle occupant deaths among children decreased from 2002 to 2011, but one-third of all children who died were unrestrained, according to a report published in the Feb. 4 early-release issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Erin K. Sauber-Schatz, Ph.D., from the CDC in Atlanta, and colleagues used data from 2002 to 2011 from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System to assess the number and rate of motor vehicle occupant deaths and the proportion of unrestrained child deaths among children aged 0 to 12 years.

The researchers found that, from 2002 to 2011, there was a significant, 43 percent decrease in motor vehicle occupant death rates for children. In 2011, one-third of children who died were unrestrained. Black children had significantly higher death rates than white children in 2009 to 2010, and the proportion of unrestrained child deaths was significantly higher among blacks (45 percent) and Hispanics (46 percent), compared with whites (26 percent).

"No child should die in a motor vehicle crash because they were not properly buckled up and yet, sadly, it happens hundreds of times each year in the United States," CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H., said in a statement. "Many of these tragedies are preventable when parents use age- and size-appropriate child restraints every time their child rides in a motor vehicle."

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