Intended for healthcare professionals


Child safety in cars

BMJ 2006; 333 doi: (Published 07 December 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;333:1183
  1. Michael Hayes (
  1. 1Child Accident Prevention Trust, London EC1R 3AJ

    Good practice is now reinforced by new legislation

    In 2005 in the United Kingdom, 24 children aged under 10 years were killed while travelling in cars and a further 226 were admitted to hospital.1 The numbers of injured children who were wearing baby and child restraints or seat belts were not given, but such devices are known to be effective in reducing the severity of injury.2 3 4 When used properly, child passenger restraints reduce injury by 90-95% for rear facing systems and 60% for forward facing systems compared with not using a restraint.5

    On 18 September 2006 the law on carrying babies and children in cars, vans, and goods vehicles in the UK changed to correspond with the rest of the European Union. Limited use of child restraints and seat belts in cars in the UK has been required by law since 1983 in the front seat and 1989 in the …

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