Fire District Checks Car Seats by Appointment
 
September 1, 2017
 

Every day in America, too many children ride in car seats that have been installed incorrectly, or are riding in the wrong car seats for their ages and sizes. Even worse, many other children ride while completely unbuckled. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), two out of three car seats are misused. To help combat this issue, NHTSA is sponsoring Child Passenger Safety Week from September 17-23, 2017, a campaign dedicated to helping parents and caregivers make sure their children ride as safely as possible - every trip, every time.

“Every 33 seconds in 2015, a child under 13 was involved in a crash,” said Manhattan Child Passenger Safety Technician Dawn Burkhalter. “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 2015, there were 248 children under the age of 5 saved because they were riding in car seats,” she said. “Car seats matter, and having the right car seat installed and used the right way is critical.”

She added that too often, parents move their children to the front seat before they should, which increases the risk of injury and death. The safest place for all kids under 13 is in the back seat. Also, according to NHTSA in 2015, about 25.8 percent of children 4 to 7 who should be riding in booster seats were prematurely moved to seat belts, and 11.6 percent were unbuckled altogether.

“It’s our job to keep our children safe,” Burkhalter said. “Get your car seats checked. Make certain they’re installed correctly, and that your kids are in the right seats and are buckled in correctly. Even if you think your child is safe, check again, so you can be sure that your child is the safest he or she can be while traveling.”

NHTSA recommends keeping children rear-facing as long as possible up to the top height or 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 a 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, the child should ride in a booster seat until he/she is the right size to use a seat belt safely.

Always remember to register your car seat and booster seat with the car seat manufacturer so you can be notified in the event of a recall. Parents and caregivers can view more information on car seat safety and locate a certified child passenger safety technician at www.nhtsa.gov/carseat. To make an appointment with a Manhattan Child Passenger Safety Technician please call (815) 478-3197.

 
Hyperlinks: Car Seat Safety Information
 
Attachments:
Attachment How to use a car seat harness.pdf  (204k)