Every day in America, millions of parents and caregivers travel with children in their vehicles. While some children are buckled-in properly in the correct car seats for their ages and sizes – most are not, if they are buckled up at all. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 46 percent of car seats are misused. To help combat this issue, the Grand Isle County Sheriff’s Department announced today its participation in Child Passenger Safety Week, a campaign dedicated to helping parents and caregivers make sure their children ride as safely as possible – every trip, every time. Child Passenger Safety Week runs from September 23-29, 2018 and is sponsored by NHTSA.
Every 33 seconds in 2016, a child under 13 was involved in a passenger vehicle crash. Using car seats that are age- and size-appropriate is the best way to keep your children safe. According to NHTSA, motor vehicle crashes are a leading killer of children, and fatalities are on the rise. Car seats, booster seats, and seat belts can make all the difference. In 2016, there were 328 children under the age of 5 saved because they were in a car seat. Car seats matter and having the right car seat installed and used the right way is critical.
Too often, parents move their children to the front seat before they should, which increases the risk of injury and death even if they are buckled up. The safest place for all kids under 13 is always in the back seat. Also, according to NHTSA, in 2015, about 25.8% of children 4 to 7 who should have been riding in booster seats were prematurely moved to seat belts, and 11.6% were unbuckled altogether.
NHTSA recommends keeping children rear-facing as long as possible, up to the top height and weight allowed by their particular seats. Once a child outgrows the rear-facing-only “infant” car seat, he/she should travel in a rear-facing “convertible” or all-in-one car seat. Once your child outgrows the rear-facing size limits, the child is ready to travel in a forward-facing car seat with a harness and tether. After outgrowing the forward-facing car seat with harness, children should be placed in booster seats until they’re the right size to use seat belts safely.
The Grand Isle County Sheriff’s Department has 3 Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician’s willing to ensure your child’s car seat is installed correctly. Please call (802)372-4482 for an appointment.