The death of a child last week in a car accident in New Jersey has one emergency doctor reminding families to keep children secured while on the road this busy travel weekend.
The majority of kids entering Cooper University Hospital’s trauma center are involved in motor vehicle accidents, according to Dr. Nicole Fox, director of pediatric trauma. About a third of them aren’t buckled up or properly secured in a car seat, she said. That worries her because if ejected during a crash, a child is likely to die. It happened last week.
“Those cases are devastating,” said Fox. “Because we look at those as preventable deaths. So it’s very tough to tell parents that their child did not survive, and that it was due to … not being properly restrained in the car.”
The problem can be easily fixed, Fox said, even though some people find car seats to be tricky. Police and other groups frequently offer free car-seat inspections to be double-sure it’s been done properly.
She advises checking the car seat label to make sure it fits that child’s age, height and weight. Kids should sit in the back seat until they’re 13, and, until they’re 2, sit in a rear-facing car seat.