According to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration, motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death in children between the ages of 3 and 14 years. In 2005, each day an average of 5 children were killed and 640 children were injured through accidents in passenger vehicles. These are frightening statistics, and ones that you can take steps to prevent.
Massachusetts Child Passenger Safety Law
It is important to be aware of and to obey child passenger safety laws when traveling by car with your child. In Massachusetts, any driver or passenger age 12 or older must wear a seat belt, whether riding in the front or back of a car, and the shoulder strap must be placed across the chest. Infants and small children must ride in federally approved car or booster seats until they are at least five years old or weigh more than 40 pounds. Children under five years who weigh more than 40 pounds must be seated in a booster seat, and children age 5-12 years who weigh more than 40 pounds must travel in a booster seat or wear a seat belt in the back of a car. These laws not only apply to privately owned vehicles, but also to vehicles for hire such as taxis. For more information on car seat safety, see OneToughJob’s fact sheet on Children and Car Seats in the Child Safety section.
Not Even For a Minute
Remember, never leave a child alone in a car, not even for a minute. Left alone in a vehicle, even for a short time, a child is in danger of suffering from dehydration, injury, abduction, and other risks. For more information, visit OneToughJob’s fact sheet ‘Never Leave a Child Alone in a Car’ in the Child Safety section.
Be sure to convey this important information to anyone who transports your children – your spouse or partner, babysitter, daycare provider, and other friends and family members.