Child Passenger Safety Week September 20-26
SELMA – Tuesday’s Seat Check event at the Selma Fire Department was a success, according to Safe Kids Johnston County. There were 25 car seats inspected by certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians from the Selma Fire Department, Pine Level Fire Department, Partnership for Children and the Raleigh Police Department. They provided hands-on education to all parents and caregivers in attendance to make sure their car seats were installed and being used correctly. Parents were also reminded to register their car seats with their manufacturers to be notified of recalls.
“Every parent and caregiver walked away with vital information about keeping their children safe,” said Jennifer Williams, Safe Kids Johnston County Coordinator. “By coming to the Seat Check event and having their car seats checked by certified technicians, parents were able to gain greater peace of mind about their children riding securely on every trip. Now those parents and caregivers know that their kids are as safe as possible in the event of a crash.” She noted that far too many car seats are being used or installed incorrectly, despite kids’ safety being a top priority for families.
The free event was Safe Kids Johnston County’s way of participating in Child Passenger Safety Week, which runs from September 20-26.
“We are glad to see that nationally, fatalities decreased significantly from 2016 to 2017, but that doesn’t mean that we still don’t have work to do. We will continue to advocate for children and encourage people to choose the right seat for their child — no matter who your child is traveling with, and no matter how long or short the trip,” Mrs. Williams said. Child fatalities due to car crashes can be reduced if all kids are riding securely in car seats, booster seats, or seat belts. That’s what these events are all about: Empowering people to take action to keep their kids safe. And that’s why we were out there on Tuesday — to make parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and all people who have a part in a child’s life, aware of the dangers their children face when they aren’t properly buckled in a vehicle.”
Mrs. Williams also said that parents and caregivers should follow the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) car seat recommendations at www.nhtsa.gov/therightseat to keep children in the right types of car seats (rear-facing car seat, forward-facing car seat, booster seat) or seat belt for their ages and sizes. Children are often moved to the front seat too soon, exposing kids to increased risk in a crash.
NHTSA reminds parents and caregivers that the safest place for all kids under 13 is in the back seat of the car. According to NHTSA data, in 2015, about 25.8% of children 4 to 7 were prematurely moved to seat belts, when they should have been riding in booster seats. Statistically, in the event of a crash, children are more likely to get injured or killed while in the front seat, even while buckled up. Vehicle seat belts are designed for adult occupants and generally do not fit young children properly.
“Parents don’t have to wait for the next Seat Check event to make sure their car seats are installed properly,” Mrs. Williams noted. “Parents and caregivers can locate local Child Car Seat Inspection Stations by visiting www.nhtsa.gov/therightseat.” In Johnston County, families can contact the Partnership for Children of Johnston County to set up an appointment by calling 919-202-0002.”
For more information or to set up an appointment to have your child’s car seat checked, contact Jennifer Williams, Safe Kids Johnston County Coordinator at 919-975-2521 or visit www.safekids.org.
Safe Kids Johnston County works to prevent unintentional childhood injury, the leading cause of death and disability to children ages 1 to 14. Safe Johnston County is a member of Safe Kids Worldwide, a global network of organizations dedicated to preventing unintentional injury. Safe Kids Johnston County was founded in 2009 and is led by the Partnership for Children of Johnston County.