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Children in cars

BMJ 1997; 314 doi: (Published 08 February 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;314:392

Child restraints should be built in safety features, not optional extras

  1. Ian Roberts, Directora,
  2. Carolyn DiGuiseppi, Senior research fellow in epidemiologya
  1. a Child Health Monitoring Unit, Institute of Child Health, London WC1N 1EH

    Cars are not designed with children in mind. There can be little dispute about that. This will be obvious to any parent obliged to purchase the procession of products necessary for the safe transportation of children. Although children make up nearly 20% of the population, the car industry has yet to design and build cars that afford the same degree of crash protection for children as for adults without the need to buy and install additional safety equipment.

    The issue is not trivial. In 1995 in England and Wales there were 73 child passenger deaths and 1073 serious injuries. The death rate per passenger mile has fallen, but this has been offset by large increases in car travel.1 Between 1985 and 1994, the number of car miles travelled by children …

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