Kids & Cars: The Hidden Dangers of Parked Vehicles

When you think of family car safety, you probably think about proper use of car seats and the importance of keeping kids secure in the event of a crash.

But are you aware of the dangers children face from parked vehicles? Hundreds of children die each year in non-traffic incidents, after they've been backed over, strangled by power windows or have inadvertently knocked a vehicle into motion.

After learning how many children are injured this way, we turned to Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, for support and government action. On November 1, 2005, Senator Clinton introduced the Cameron Gulbransen Kids and Cars Safety Act of 2005, which aims to prevent the above tragedies by encouraging car manufacturers to make changes. We recently spoke about her involvement with this cause, and why it's so important to her. Read on to learn more and find out how you can get involved.

Q: What do iVillage moms need to know about this issue?
A: People need to know how incredibly widespread these incidents are. The statistics are alarming. Almost every other day, a young child is killed in a non-traffic automobile accident. Since 1999, almost 1,000 children have died in non-traffic, non-crash incidents, and this number has been steadily rising.

It is also incredibly important that people understand how simple and affordable it can be to avoid these incidents, with just a few simple safety features added to cars. Power window sensors cost only $8 to $12 a window. Brake shift interlocks are already standard in most passenger vehicles, but where they aren't, they cost only $5 a car. Back-over warning systems cost a bit more '- approximately $300 a car '- but if these or similar technologies were required, the market would eventually drive down the price.

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