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AAP Policy Reducing Child Pedestrian Injuries

7/27/2009  

Each year, approximately 900 pedestrians younger than 19 years of age are killed. In addition, 51,000 children are injured as pedestrians, and 5,300 are hospitalized because of their injuries.

In the new AAP policy statement, “Pedestrian Safety,” researchers suggest that parents and caregivers learn about the developmental limitations that prevent young children from being able to navigate traffic and cross streets independently. Child pedestrians should not be unsupervised before 10 years of age, and parents should be aware of the dangers of vehicle back-over injuries to children playing in driveways. Children in the 10- to 15-year and 15- to 19-year age groups have the highest rates of nonfatal injuries in recent years.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that in order to create a safe pedestrian environment which includes greater opportunities for physical activity, parents and pediatricians should support community and school-based strategies that minimize children’s exposure to traffic and that teach them how to be safe pedestrians.

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The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 60,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults. For more information, visit www.aap.org.