According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among children in the United States. In 2006, 674 children under the age of four were killed in traffic crashes in Missouri, according to the State Highway Patrol. Many of these deaths could have been prevented by placing children in age and size appropriate restraint systems. The CDC says by using proper restraints, serious and fatal injuries can be reduced by more than half. Having a child safety seat is not enough. Parents who use a child restraint system often misuse it, which can result in possible injury or death of a child. In 2001, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) conducted child restraint checks in six states, including Missouri. Results from the NHTSA study were alarming, as nearly three-quarters of child safety restraint systems had one or more critical misuses. The Warren County program will focus on proper restraint use for children 12 and under with an emphasis on age and size appropriate safety standards. Currently the Warren County Health Department has car seats available to those low income families in Warren County and is eligible to receive by donation. For more information regarding this program please call the Warren County Health Department at 636-456-7474.
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