Dr. Susan Pollack uses the word epidemic when describing the jump in the number of children injured in accidents because they have not been properly restrained.
"Parents tend to want to graduate their kids as fast as they can through this process but it's safer to leave them as long as you can," said Pollack.
That trend is reflected in numbers we obtained from Kentucky State Police.
The number of citations issued to caretakers not obeying the restraint laws have jumped more than fifty from last year.
And sometimes not doing so can have devastating results.
"The number one cause of death to our children here in Kentucky is motor vehicle crashes."
State Police tell us 129 children under the age of five have been injured in crashes in Kentucky where restraints weren't used.
That's up from just over one hundred from last year.
Pollack sees the results in UK's emergency rooms.
"I saw a child this weekend actually who in a crash like that was doubled over and damaged his spinal cord and now doesn't walk normally. And that's a totally preventable injury," said Pollack.
"Even in a low speed crash, a child thrown into something can break their neck and die. And we have seen that in a low speed crash in which no adult was hurt."
"Please, buckle your children. We don't want any more families to not have their children come home."
To find out more about properly restraining children in vehicles, visit www.NHTSA.gov/Safety/CPS -and- www.cdc.gov/MotorVehicleSafety/Child_Passenger_Safety/CPS-Factsheet
Also, there is a free Monthly Car Seat Fitting Station - Held on the second Wednesday of each month from 2-4 p.m. at Auto Tech Service, 780 Winchester Rd., Lexington, Ky.
Call 859-323-1153 for more information.