Child Passenger Safety Week

In 2016, an average of two children under age 13 died per day in vehicular accidents. Unfortunately, these kinds of incidents are the leading cause of death among children. We need to change these statistics.  Child Passenger Safety Week is September 23-29, 2018, and this is the perfect time to spread awareness about the importance of child passenger safety and to make sure parents and caregivers know which seats to use for their children’s ages and sizes.

You can use the following guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to find the right seat for your child …

1) Birth up to age 2 – Rear-facing car seat. For the best possible protection, infants and children should be buckled in a rear-facing car seat, in the back seat, until age 2 or when they reach the upper weight or height limits of their particular seat. Check the seat’s owner’s manual and/or labels on the seat for weight and height limits.

 

2) Age 2 up to at least age 5 – Forward-facing car seat. When children outgrow their rear-facing seats they should be buckled in a forward-facing car seat, in the back seat, until at least age 5 or when they reach the upper weight or height limit of their particular seat. Check the seat’s owner’s manual and/or labels on the seat for weight and height limits.

 

3) Age 5 up until seat belts fit properly – Booster seat. Once children outgrow their forward-facing seat (by reaching the upper height or weight limit of their seat), they should be buckled in a belt-positioning booster seat until seat belts fit properly. Seat belts fit properly when the lap belt lays across the upper thighs (not the stomach) and the shoulder belt lays across the chest (not the neck). Remember to keep children properly buckled in the back seat for the best possible protection.

 

4) Once seat belts fit properly without a booster seat – Children no longer need to use a booster seat once seat belts fit them properly. Seat belts fit properly when the lap belt lays across the upper thighs (not the stomach) and the shoulder belt lays across the chest (not the neck). For the best possible protection keep children properly buckled in the back seat.

Also, airbags can be fatal to children, so boys and girls should ride in the back seat of a vehicle, at least through the age of 12. Parents should also remember not to start driving until all children and other passengers are buckled in. Click here to learn more about child safety laws in your state. And, on September 29, certified child passenger safety technicians will offer safety tips and car seat installation instruction at child passenger safety events around the country in recognition of National Seat Check Saturday.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has also produced a toolkit for Child Passenger Safety Week that will help you spread the word about the need for proper buckling in family vehicles. It includes downloadable resources in English and Spanish that help explain the importance of car seats.

To learn more about Child Passenger Safety Week, click here.