February 22, 1971

Restraining Your Youngsters

Author Affiliations

AMA Committee on Medical Aspects of Automotive Safety

JAMA. 1971;215(8):1317-1318. doi:10.1001/jama.1971.03180210061014

Physicians have often been accused of being negligent concerning their own health and safety, and of allowing their families to suffer the fate of the proverbial "shoemaker's children." Like most generalizations, this may not be justified, but in respect to safeguarding youngsters from injury and death in an automobile, it probably is.

These thoughts were brought to mind when an informal inquiry by the AMA Committee on Medical Aspects of Automotive Safety revealed that a leading automotive supply catalog has stopped advertising a child safety seat because of lack of sales. Physicians, of course, are not solely responsible for the fact that so few child safety seats are being used, but they may be more culpable in that they are more aware of the trauma and death resulting when unrestrained children are violently hurled about in an automotive crash.

Perhaps it is too much to ask of anyone, physician or