September 15-21: Child Passenger Safety Week
September 11, 2019
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) is sponsoring this year’s Child Passenger Safety Week, which will be observed September 15-21. Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death for children in the United States, but many of the fatalities are completely preventable.
Statistics on Child Passengers and Motor Vehicle Accidents
According to the NHTSA, more than one-third of children under 12 killed in automobile accidents in 2017 were not wearing a seat belt. Booster and car seats are commonplace for younger children – and usually they help keep kids safe and secure. But according to the administration, they are actually installed incorrectly almost 50% of the time.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that more than 720 children die and 128,000 others are injured in motor vehicle accidents every year. The agency also found that more than 618,000 children between the ages of 0-12 rode in vehicles without a car or booster seat – or a seat belt – in just one year’s time. The data is nothing short of tragic and staggering, and it is time for us all to do more to keep child passengers safe.
Keeping Young Passengers Safe
In order to limit the number of preventable injuries and deaths that occur, parents and caregivers must take certain precautions. Children face high risks for drunken driving-related accidents, and kids between the ages of 8 and 12-years-old are even less likely to be buckled in than younger children.
Here are just a few examples of effective ways to protect younger passengers from known risk factors:
- Select the right car seat and keep children in rear-facing car seats as long as possible (in accordance with height and weight guidelines).
- Children who outgrow rear-facing seats should be transitioned to forward-facing car seats equipped with harnesses and tethers;
- Before a child is ready to wear an adult seat belt, he or she may need a booster seat. These products boost a child’s height to ensure that seat belts fit correctly, and:
- Always put seat belts on children who meet age, height and weight requirements for use
More Tips from the NHTSA
Because Child Passenger Safety Week is all about keeping kids riding in motor vehicles safe, the NHTSA wants you to know there is even more you can do. Car and booster seats are hard to install correctly, but there are lots of helpful resources available. To find a Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician in your area who can make sure your seat is properly installed and being used correctly, use this search tool: https://www.nhtsa.gov/equipment/car-seats-and-booster-seats#installation-help-inspection
Do not forget to register your child’s car or booster seat. Registering a product helps consumers stay up to date on alerts and recalls, and also establishes an open line of communication with the manufacturer directly. To learn more about registering your booster or car seat, please visit: https://www.nhtsa.gov/equipment/car-seats-and-booster-seats#registration. Hundreds of children’s products are recalled due to design flaws and defects every year, so be sure to regularly check on a product’s status.
If you have more questions and would like to speak to someone on our team directly, please contact a representative who can help.
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