The California Highway Patrol reports that the number of children who have died in auto accidents since safety seats for children were made mandatory has dropped only slightly. That is depressing. The deaths should have dropped dramatically, and would have--if adults had used the seats and buckled youngsters in them properly.
Tragically, the statistics say they're not doing so.
In the first 10 months of 1984, the CHP reports, 48 children age 4 and younger--including two from Orange County-- were killed in auto accidents in the state, compared with 60 for all of 1983. Of the 48 victims, only three were properly buckled in.
Many of those children might still be alive today if they had been in safety seats. Police and doctors can cite all kinds of accidents in which others were killed or seriously injured but youngsters survived and escaped virtually unscathed because someone cared enough to put them in a safety seat. The seats do save lives.
Studies show that most children killed or injured in auto accidents are not in safety seats or buckled in--and those who are have a much better chance of escaping death or serious injury. Adults must be sure that children get that chance.