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The North Fayette Police Department will be participating in the National Car Seat Safety week by handing out educational material to parents and caregivers at schools and daycares/learning centers prior to enforcement.
The most important task of a parent or caregiver is to keep their children safe. Part of that responsibility is ensuring children are safely buckled up in the correct, and properly installed, car seats for their ages and sizes, whether they are riding with you or another family member. This choice could mean the difference between life, serious injury, or death for your children. You have a long list of things you do for your children every day because you love them. Making sure your children are safe, are in the right car seats or booster seats, and that they are being used correctly every time, should be at the very top of that list.
Motor vehicle crashes are a leading killer of children 12 and younger. From 2013-2017, there were 3,313 children killed while riding in cars, pickups, vans, and SUVs. While fatalities and injuries were both down in 2017 from 2016 - an eight percent decrease in fatalities and an estimated 19 percent decrease in injuries - there is still more work to do to eliminate these preventable tragedies.
That’s why events such as Child Passenger Safety Week, being held September 15-21, 2019, are so critical in helping parents and caregivers learn about proper car seat installation, and how to use car seats correctly. Technicians can also discuss car seat selection with parents, if parents have questions about transitioning their child to another type of seat.
No matter their age, your children rely on you to keep them safe. When traveling, the best ways to protect them are to place them in the right car seats for their ages and sizes, to install the seats correctly, and to ensure that the car seats fit properly in the back seat of your vehicle – every single time. Because the consequences of misused car seats can be disastrous, always take the time to read the car seat instructions and consult your vehicle manual. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), nearly half of car seats are misused.
Research shows that when used correctly, car seats decrease the risk of fatal injury by 71 percent for infants and 54 percent for toddlers (1 to 4 years old) in cars, and by 58 percent and 59 percent, respectively, for infants and toddlers in light trucks. Additionally, using the tether on a forward-facing car seat reduces the chances of injury in a crash.
As children grow and transition from one type of car seat to another, parents sometimes become less vigilant about ensuring that their children are properly buckled in the right seats for their ages and sizes. The latest data from NHTSA shows that when it comes to restraint use, more than one-third (35%) of the children who died in passenger vehicles in 2017 were not buckled up at all, with the majority of them being children between 8 and 12. In 2017, among children under 5, car seats saved an estimated 312 lives. A total of 371 children could have survived if they had been buckled up 100-percent of the time. Children need to be buckled in, and in the right kind of seat, whether it’s a rear-facing car seat, a forward-facing car seat with a tether, a booster seat, or a seat belt in the back seat - every trip, every time.
Many local police departments have Child Passenger Safety Technicians. Parents and caregivers can visit local inspection stations and car seat check events and have their children’s car seats inspected by certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians who can teach them how to install their car seats properly. Technicians can help parents and caregivers learn the correct installation method for their child’s car seat and help determine if their children are ready to move from rear-facing to forward-facing seats, from forward-facing seats to booster seats, or from booster seats to seat belts. The technicians can also show parents how to register their car seat with its manufacturer so that they’ll be notified in the case of recalls.
To locate an inspection station in your area, go to nhtsa.gov/carseat, or download the free SaferCar app from iTunes or Google Play. The services these stations offer are available year-round, by appointment, and are free of charge.
Parents and caregivers can also visit nhtsa.gov/carseat to learn other tips on car seat safety, watch how-to videos, and sign up for car seat recall notifications.