(WWJ) — If you have kids going back to elementary school this fall, you may already have the folders, crayons and glue.

Once classes start, some parents worry about those first germs of the school year, but St. John hospital pediatrician Marcus DeGraw said that he is much more concerned about car safety than sneezes this time of year.

“Car accidents will kill children 30 times more often than any infection will in the United States,” DeGraw said. “So, it’s the real thing parents should be afraid of and I really like to discuss that with them as their kids are coming in for their checkups.

Safety recommendations say kids should be in a booster seat until they are 4-foot-9. Doctor DeGraw said using one consistently — even if your child is embarrassed or carpools with someone else — reduces the risk of serious injury or death by 60 percent.

“My biggest thing to talk to parents about going back to school is as your kids get rides with other families, they go to after school activities, they go to sports, they get a different ride to school — don’t be afraid to enforce the rules for car seats for you kids, even when they’re embarrassed and they complain,” DeGraw said.


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