Car crashes are a leading killer of children, and the latest research from the U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows that nearly two out of three of 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.
Using car seats that are height and weight appropriate is the best way to keep your children safe. 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. Additionally, Georgia law requires that children under 8 be properly restrained in an approved car seat or booster seat in the back seat.
The Georgia Department of Public Health, recommends keeping children in a rear-facing car seat up to the top height or weight allowed by their particular seats. Once a child outgrows the rear-facing car seat, he or she is ready to travel in a forward-facing car seat with a harness and tether. After outgrowing the forward-facing car seat, a child should ride in a booster seat until he or she is 4’9” tall for a seat belt to fit properly.
It is also imperative that parents make certain that their child’s car seat is installed correctly. Read the car seat’s instructions for use/installation information, and your vehicle owner’s manual on how to install the car sear using the seat belt or LATCH system. Additionally, 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.
The Georgia State Patrol will be participating in National Seat Check Saturday on September 23, and will be offering free car seat inspections and education to parents and caregivers. The event will be held from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at Post 15, located at 450 Larry Walker Parkway, Perry, GA 31069. The event will also include kids’ activities, carnival snacks, etc.
Child Car Seat Safety Resources
Georgia’s Governor’s Office of Highway Safety – http://www.gahighwaysafety.org/campaigns/child-passenger-safety/
Georgia Department of Public Health – https://dph.georgia.gov/child-occupant-safety-project-overview
NHTSA – www.nhtsa.gov/carseat