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The May 2009 issue of the Bulletin of the World Health Organization was a special themed issue dedicated to childhood injuries and violence, a significant cause of child death and disability. The issue contains editorials, research papers, contributions covering policy and practice and discussion papers on injuries and violence. Every year injuries and violence kill approximately 950 000 children and injure or disable millions more. Known and effective prevention and treatment strategies remain greatly underutilised, especially in developing countries where 95% of child injury deaths occur. This issue, accessible at, seeks to promote greater attention to this significant public health problem and to explore ways in which this burden can be lowered.


The US Department of Transportation has announced that it will create a new consumer programme to help parents and caregivers find a child seat that fits in their vehicle. The programme is the result of a comprehensive review ordered by Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood to improve child passenger safety and Federal child seat standards. Secretary LaHood also ordered the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to develop a new side impact safety standard for car seats. Side impact crashes account for one-third of all highway deaths among children under 13 years old. The internal review found that current standards, which require child seats to withstand forces that are more severe than 99.5% of real-world crashes, are effective. The NHTSA task force, which reviewed child safety regulations, found that while current standards offer a high degree of protection, the agency should consider adding a first ever side-impact standard for child safety seats. It also recommended research on future improvements to the current frontal impact standard. NHTSA will institute a new programme beginning …

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