January 1, 2016
The American College of Surgeons (ACS) Committee on Trauma (COT) Subcommittee on Injury Prevention and Control developed the following statement to support legislation that would improve safety measures for children in and around cars. With the help of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, new vehicle safety devices are being designed and implemented. These devices address back-over and blind spot accidents that lead to an increasing number of childhood injuries and deaths each year. The COT supports legislation and other efforts to increase the safety of children in and around cars. This statement was reviewed and approved by the ACS Board of Regents at its October 2015 meeting in Chicago, IL.
The ACS recognizes that injuries are the leading cause of death and disability in children, despite the fact that the means to prevent these injuries are readily available. In particular, the following data pertain to children who are injured by motor vehicles when they are left unattended in or around cars:
In addition to educating parents about the dangers of leaving their children unattended in and around motor vehicles, the ACS endorses the following prevention activities:
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Fenton SJ, Scaife ER, Meyers RL, Hansen KW, Firth SD: The prevalence of driveway back-over injuries in the era of sports utility vehicles. J Pediatr Surg. 2005;40(12):1964-1968.
KidsAndCars.org. 2013. National statistics. Available at: www.kidsandcars.org/national-statistics.html. Accessed November 23, 2015.
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Pinkney KA, Smith A, Mann C, et al: Risk of pediatric back-over injuries in residential driveways by vehicle type. Pediatr Emerg Care. 2006;22(6):402-407.
U.S. Department of Transportation. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Traffic Safety Facts. Not-in-traffic-surveillance: Child fatality and injury in nontraffic crashes, 2008 to 2011 statistics. Available at: www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/811812.pdf. Accessed November 6, 2015.