Child Passenger Safety Week Starts Sunday
We are pleased to join the U.S. Department of Transportation and Safe-kids in their effort to promote Child Passenger Safety.
This Sunday marks the beginning of “Child Passenger Safety Week” (September 15th-22nd) so we’ll be making posts to help heighten awareness.
Car crashes remain the primary cause of death for children between the ages of 1-13 within the United States. The most effective way to protect children within the car is to ensure that they are secured in a properly installed car seat or booster seat for age, height, and weight requirements. In other words “put them in the right seat, at the right time, and use it in the right way”(NHTSA).
According to the CDC, nearly 171,000 childhood vehicle passengers (14 years or younger) were injured in automobile accidents in 2010.
The proper use of child safety seats is estimated to reduce fatality risks for toddlers 54 percent and 71 percent for infants. And appropriate use of booster seats for children between the ages of 4 and 8 can reduce the risk of traumatic injury by 45 percent.
But with so many different models and variations of car seats and booster seats available on the market, how do you determine the correct seat for your child?
In addition, review your state’s laws concerning child seat safety. However, be cognizant of the fact that state laws may not adequately protect your child! For example, while it may be legal to place a child weighing more than 20 lbs. or 1 year old in a forward-facing car seat, it is not advisable to do so, and is instead recommended to keep your child in a rear-facing car seat for as long as possible based on size, as opposed to age.
Review your vehicles owner's manual and carefully examine a car seat model’s criteria for height and weight limits before making your purchase. Read your car seat instruction manual thoroughly, and keep it on file! Check for recalls, and avoid purchasing a used car seat.
We strongly encourage you to have your car seat installed by a Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician, or CPS tech. These individuals have hours of safety training, for the sole purpose of your child’s passenger safety. (An advantage parents don’t receive!) You may be surprised and grateful for what you learn! In fact, statistics show that nearly 75 percent of child safety seats are either not installed properly, or are the wrong seat choice for the size and weight of the child. When in doubt, check it out!
To find a CPS technician in your area visit NHTSA’s website. During your inspection site visit, you will receive one-on-one safety instruction for the correct use and installation of your car seat as well as information on seat belt safety. Through Maine’s Car Seat Program, families meeting WIC Income Eligibility Guidelines may be eligible to receive FREE car seats through registered distribution locations. Why wait? Schedule your appointment—after all, you have “Precious Cargo On-Board!”