National Child Passenger Safety Week is observed Sept. 23-29
By Rima Austin | September 24, 2018 8:22 am
Child Passenger Safety Week is an annual campaign dedicated to helping parents and caregivers make sure their children ride as safely as possible – every trip, every time.
The campaign is sponsored by NHTSA, and the primary goal for child passenger safety is to make sure all parents and caregivers are correctly using the right car seats (rear-facing car seats, forward-facing car seats, booster seats) or seat belts for their children’s ages and sizes. According to the Department of Transportation, law enforcement officers will be looking for children who are riding unrestrained. Authorities say parents and caregivers could face a ticket if a child is not buckled up.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, every 33 seconds, one child under the age of 13 is involved in a car crash. In 2016, on average, two children under the age of 13 were killed every day because of improper use of seat belts, car seats, and booster seats.
“Car seats and boosters provide protection for infants and children in a crash, yet car crashes are a leading cause of death for children ages 1 to 13,” said Kathryn L. Henry, Department of Transportation media relations. “That’s why it’s so important to choose and use the right car seat correctly every time your child is in the car. Select a car seat based on your child’s age and size, and choose a seat that fits in your vehicle and use it every time. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Ease of Use ratings system allows parents to evaluate how easy certain car seat features are to use before buying a seat.”
There will be a safety checkpoint at the White County Justice Center, 1-3 p.m., Sept. 27, hosted by the White County Sheriff Department.
Parents are encouraged to bring their car seats in, already installed, where officers will check to make sure it is done properly. If parents are unsure how to install them, the officers will show them how.
“The White County Sheriff’s Office is happy to host a checkpoint during Child Passenger Awareness Week,” said Sheriff Steve Page. “We employ three officers that have received training from the National Child Passenger Safety Certification Training Program.”
According to WCSD head of administration Cami Howard, the department will make sure at least one of those officers will be at the checkpoint.
Some parents and caregivers are unaware of the rules that govern how to properly secure a child in a car or booster seat. Some of the simple guidelines are:
-From birth until 2 years old, all children should be placed into a rear-facing car seat.
-From 2 to 5 years old, children should ride in a forward-facing car seat.
-From age 5 until the child is at least 57 inches tall, a child should be placed in a booster seat.
-All children under the age of 12 should ride in the back seat of a car because of the hazards of a deployed airbag.
The National Safety Council, along with other organizations, will be having multiple campaigns to bring awareness to child passenger safety.
When asked why he feels it is important for White County to get involved, Page said, “We want to give every parent in the county the confidence that their child’s seat is suitable and safe.”