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Tweens need to be buckled up, too

October 6, 2012
By DAVE WERNER ( , Franklin County Traffic Safety Board

Motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of injuries for tweens in NYS. Tweens are defined as children from 8 to 12 years of age. The state Governor's Traffic Safety Committee, NYS Child Passenger Safety Advisory Board, Department of Health Bureau of Occupational Health and Injury Prevention and Safe Kids are promoting a statewide "Always Buckle Up! Sit-Click-Ride!" child passenger safety campaign.

The goal of the campaign, which was kicked off during National CPS Week (Sept. 16 to 22 this year), is to increase awareness of and promote the New York's 4 Steps 4 Kids.

Information from Michele James, regional vice president of the Association of New York State Traffic Safety Boards, states that every year approximately 3,500 tweens are treated at hospitals for motor vehicle related injuries in New York. This number would fill nearly 146 classrooms. The risk of hospitalization due to a motor vehicle crash increases as a child's age increases.

Older tweens are more likely to ride in the front seat and less likely to buckle up compared to their younger counterparts. Studies conducted by the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia indicate that children are 40 percent more likely to be injured in a front seat than if they had been seated in the back seat.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommends that you keep your child in a booster seat until he or she is big enough to fit in a seat belt properly. For a seat belt to fit properly the lap belt must lie snugly across the upper thighs, not the stomach. The shoulder belt should lie snug across the shoulder and chest and not cross the neck or face. Your child should still ride in the back seat, because it's safer there.


Recent "Did You Know" articles have dealt more specifically with proper child safety restraint information. They can be found on the board's web site at: then click on "Traffic Safety Board" under departments and look for Did You Know articles under "services."



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