Car crashes are the leading cause of death for children from three to fourteen years old. In 2004, more than 7800 children died in car crashes in the U.S. However, the number of deaths each year is dropping. This is due mostly to the use of seatbelts. Of the kids killed in car crashes, half of them weren't buckled up.
How effective are seatbelts for children?
The risk of death for a child (age six and older) riding in the front seat of a car is cut in half when he/she wears a lap/shoulder seatbelt. For kids using a seatbelt in a truck, the risk of death is cut by 60%.
Child safety seats decrease the numbers even more.
If every child under the age of five was properly buckled into a child safety seat, an estimated 566 lives could have been saved in 2004.
What are the rules for child safety seats in Idaho?
By Idaho Law, children need to be properly restrained in a child safety restraint until they are 7 years old (all kids 6 and younger). The proper safety restraint must meet the federal requirements for the child's size and weight. In other words, use a child seat that is properly designed for the size and weight of the child using it.
Use rear facing infant seats until they are too big for it, then change over to the child car seat until they are too big for that, then change over to the booster seat until they turn 7. Read the Manufacturer's directions completely. Be careful not to use outdated or damaged safety seats - if in doubt replace it with a newer version.
For more information about child car safety you can go to the National Highway Traffic Administration.