Last night, 3-year old Jayden Figueroa was tragically killed when his mother, Christina Castro, lost control of her Toyota Camry while driving in Worcester, MA. Jayden’s two brothers ages 5 and 7, were also passengers in Castro’s car, and suffered injuries from the accident. None of the three boys were properly restrained.
Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death among young children and young adults in America. It is estimated that 1 out of every 3 Americans will be injured or killed in a motor vehicle crash.
According to the CDC, 1,314 children under the age of 14 were killed and 179,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes in 2009. Properly restraining your child with a federally approved child safety seat reduces the risk of death or serious injury of a child by more than 50%.
What can you do to protect your child?
• Set a good example for your children and wear your seatbelt on every trip-no matter how short the distance.
• Make sure children are properly buckled in a seat belt or federally approved car seat appropriate to their age, weight and height. Click here for more information about child restraint systems.
• Do not allow children younger than 13 years old to ride in the front seat and never place a rear-facing car seat in the front seat or in front of an air bag. Airbags can kill young children.
• Place children in the middle of the back seat when possible because it is the safest spot in the vehicle.
Remember that wearing a safety belt and using the proper child safety restraint system can greatly reduce the chances of serious injury and even death during a motor vehicle accident. For more information about safety belt laws and child passenger safety visit the CDC’s website or the Massachusetts RMV’s website.