Children are dying in car accidents, even in 2022. With the number of vehicles on roads increasing, we must remain dedicated to spreading awareness about how important it is to strap young children into car seats.
This is why the annual Child Passenger Safety Awareness Week (September 18-24) is so vital. This week serves as a reminder of the importance of vehicle safety for children every year.
Child Passenger Safety Week: It’s Not Just About Car Seats
This is an excellent moment to persuade parents and guardians to check if their kids are correctly secured in the appropriate car seat for their age, height, and weight. Car seats, boosters, and seat belts can help prevent injuries and deaths.
HOW TO ENSURE YOUR CHILD’S SAFETY WHEN ON THE ROAD
We’ve all heard our grandparents talk about how they never used seat belts or car seats when they were kids and nothing ever happened. But why take a chance?
Appropriately fitted safety restraints can significantly reduce the chance of serious injury or death in a vehicle accident. In fact, an automobile seat may help to reduce the risk of infant mortality by 71 percent when in a vehicle accident. Make sure your youngsters use car safety seats that are appropriate for their size.
All-in-One Car Seats: The Long Term Play for Safety and Convenience
Make sure that children over the age of 12 are always wearing their seatbelts. While it may appear to be an exciting time to sit up front like an adult, sitting in the back is the most secure for children aged 12 and under. Furthermore, airbags cause concern for smaller children when in the front passenger seat.
Airbags can protect many people in the event of a collision, but they are dangerous for small children sitting in the front seat. Moreover, you must never put a rear-facing car seat in front of an airbag. It’s deadly regardless of the manufacturer.
Get your child’s car seat checked if you’re not sure
National Seat Check Saturday, taking place the Saturday during Child Passenger Safety Awareness week, is the best time to get your child’s car seat checked by a professional.
On this day, parents and caregivers can get one-on-one personalized instruction on how to properly use their child’s car seat from a certified Child Passenger Safety Technician (CPST).
Don’t fret if you don’t have time on this day to have your child’s car seat checked. CPSTs are available year-round who can check to make sure your child’s car seats are installed correctly, and provide one-on-one education on how to use and install a car seat on your own.
How to find nationally certified child passenger safety technicians near you.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has a list of vehicle seat inspection stations.
Safe Kids coalitions conduct more than 8,000 free car seat installation and usage demonstrations across the country, where their trained experts will teach you how to ensure that your car seat is installed and used correctly.
The National CPS Certification Program can help you find child passenger safety technicians in your region using their online form.
How to Check for Expiration Dates on a Car Seat
It’s not only important to make sure your child is buckled up safely in a car seat, but that the seat itself isn’t expired. All car seats and boosters have expiration dates and using an expired seat significantly reduces its effectiveness.
Do you need to replace your child’s car seat after an accident?
You can find the expiration date on the back or bottom of the seat, and it’s generally around six years from the date of manufacture.
If you have any questions about car seat safety or would like to schedule a car seat check, please contact your local Safe Kids coalition.
Car Safety Goes Beyond Car Seat Usage
In addition to proper car seat usage and installation, there are other ways you can help keep your kids safe while in the car:
- Model good behavior for your kids. If they see you buckling up, they’re more likely to do the same.
- Don’t play in the driveway. Teach your kids that the driveway is not a place to play. Every year, children are injured or killed by cars backing out of driveways.
- Talk to your kids about car safety. Discuss with them the importance of buckling up and following the rules of the road.
- Put your keys in a safe place. Make sure you put your keys in a safe place where kids can’t reach them. It only takes a second for a child to get into a car and play with the buttons and steering wheel. If the car is running, they could easily put the car into gear and cause an accident.
- Never leave kids in the car. Even on a cool day, the temperature in a car can rise quickly to unsafe levels. A child’s body heats up three to five times faster than an adult’s, so it doesn’t take long for them to become dehydrated or suffer from heat stroke.
Extra Child Passenger Safety Tips
Vehicle safety and car seats are just a few topics that parents need to be aware of when it comes to keeping their kids safe. For more information on child passenger safety and car seats here are some resources to check out: