The crash occurred about 7 a.m. on southbound I-95 near Rowland.
The car flipped, ran over a guardrail and hit a tree.
Troopers said all but one child were expected to be treated and released from local hospitals.
Five-year-old Nicholas Tsoglou is listed in critical condition at UNC Hospitals.
Invesitgators say the boy's mother was the driver. She has not been charged in the accident.