Make sure your children are in the correct car seat

This week is 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.

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, two out of three car seats are misused.

Every 33 seconds in 2015, a child under 13 was involved in a passenger vehicle crash. Using a car seat that is age and size-appropriate, is the best way to keep your child 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.

“Our children are this community’s most precious resource,” said Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr. “This week, and all weeks, please take a moment to ensure your children are safely secured in any vehicle they ride in. Their life could depend on it.”

“Car seats matter, and having the right car seat installed and used the right way is critical,” said Oneida County Health Department, Director of Health, Phyllis D. Ellis.

She added that, 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 in the back seat.

Make certain that car seats are installed correctly, and that your kids are in the right seats and are buckled in correctly. Even if you think your child’s car seat is installed correctly, get it checked with a Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician, 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 your child outgrows the rear-facing size limits, the child is ready to travel in a forward-facing car seat with a harness (always use the 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. And if children are under 13 years old, they should always sit in the back seat.

Remember to register your car seat or booster seat with the 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 technician at nhtsa.gov/carseat.

For information on Oneida County Health Department’s income based car seat program, call 315-798-6400.

 

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