Fort Worth, Texas,
15:45 PM

Unrestrained danger

3 children ejected in deadly crashes

Five days into the month of August and two children have already died at Cook Children’s after they were ejected from a car.

Three kids have been ejected total, with one child surviving. It probably doesn’t come as a surprise the cause of the tragedies – the children weren’t restrained properly or not at all in their car seat.

Since April 2015, Cook Children’s Trauma team has treated 13 children who were ejected from a car.

Sharon Evans, Trauma/Injury Prevention outreach coordinator at Cook Children’s, says it’s so frustrating because she has seen wrecks where one child who was properly restrained live and the other child not buckled in dies.

“Honestly, it’s just so infuriating,” Evans said. “These accidents are totally preventable. It’s because the adults in the car aren’t doing something that could save their child’s life. I don’t think people think it can happen to them. But it can happen to anyone. It just breaks my heart because these are deaths that shouldn’t occur if people would just place their kid in the proper car seat and buckle them up with a seat belt.”

Statistics show this is especially a problem for Hispanics in the community. Ninety percent of the ejections that have occurred since April 2015 were Hispanic.

“I think a lot of it has to do with our culture,” said Magdalena Santillan, Trauma Injury Prevention specialist at Cook Children’s. “These are people who love their kids and they want to hold their baby. A lot don’t want to hear their baby cry and so it’s easier to hold their baby in the car. They are showing love, but the consequences are too high. This can be a deadly mistake.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, car crashes are a leading cause of death among children ages 3 to 14. From 2002 to 2011, about 9,000 children under the age of 12 died in car accidents, the agency’s statistics show. Correctly using a child safety seat can reduce the risk of death by as much as 71 percent.

“We know that car seats are working,” Evans said. “Research shows that a properly installed rear-facing car seat is five times safer and can dramatically reduce the risk of head, neck and spinal cord injury if your child is involved in a crash.”

Call 682-885-2634 to set up a FREE car seat checkup to ensure your seat is properly installed.

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