Local authorities encouraging parents to properly install child safety seats
Posted: Tuesday, September 21, 2010 9:03 pm
Union City police are urging parents and caregivers to ensure child safety seats are properly installed as this week’s observance of Child Passenger Safety Week culminates with a special event Saturday.
National Seat Check Saturday will be held Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Union City Ford on West Reelfoot Avenue — where the Union City Police Department will have certified technicians available to provide free hands-on child safety seat inspections and advice.
Hot dogs and drinks will also be provided by local merchants.
“It’s the responsibility of every single parent and caregiver out there to make sure their children are safely restrained — every trip, every time,” Union City Police Chief Joe Garner said. “We are urging everyone to get their child safety seats inspected. When it comes to the safety of a child, there is no room for mistakes.”
In announcing Saturday’s special event, Garner noted that seven out of 10 children in child safety seats are not properly buckled in.
According to the U.S. Department of Trans-portation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration research, 8,959 lives were saved from 1975 to 2008 by the proper use of child restraints. In 2008, among children younger than 5 in passenger vehicles, an estimated 244 lives were saved by child restraint use (child safety seats and adult seat belts). Research shows child restraints provide the best protection for all children up to age 8.
For maximum child passenger safety, parents and caregivers can visit their local inspection stations and refer to the following “4 Steps for Kids” guidelines that determine which restraint system is best suited to protect children based on age and size:
• For the best possible protection, keep infants in the back seat, in rear-facing child safety seats, as long as possible up to the height or weight limits of the particular seat. At a minimum, keep infants rear-facing until a minimum of age 1 and at least 20 pounds.
• When children outgrow their rear-facing seats (at a minimum age of 1 and at least 20 pounds), they should ride in forward-facing child safety seats, in the back seat, until they reach the upper weight or height limits of the particular seat (usually around age 4 and 40 pounds).
• Once children outgrow their forward-facing seats (usually around age 4 and 40 pounds), they should ride in booster seats, in the back seat, until the vehicle seat belts fit properly. Seat belts fit properly when the lap belt lays across the upper thighs and the shoulder belt fits across the chest (usually at age 8 or when they are 4-feet-9-inches tall).
• When children outgrow their booster seats (usually at age 8 or when they are 4-feet-9-inches tall), they can use the adult seat belt in the back seat if it fits properly (lap belt lays across the upper thighs and the shoulder belt fits across the chest).
All children younger than age 13 should ride in the back seat.
For more information on Child Passenger Safety Week, which kicked off Sunday and ends Saturday, visit online at www.nhtsa.gov/Safety/CPS or www.facebook.com/childpassengersafety.
Published in The Messenger 9.21.10