Keeping children safe on the road means making sure they are buckled up in the right seat at the right age. That’s the message for next week’s National Child Passenger Safety Week (Sept. 23-29).
The Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) is partnering with National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to remind parents to properly secure their children in the right proper restraint any time they get in a car.
“Car seats, booster seats, and seat belts are often used incorrectly,” said Sherry Jenkins, with ITD’s Office of Highway Safety. “No parent ever wants to get it wrong when it comes to his or her child’s safety. “
Motor vehicle crashes are a leading killer of children ages 1 to 13. She added that using age- and size-appropriate child restraints are the best way to reduce these deaths.
“In 2016, 3 of 4 child passengers under 7 years old killed in Idaho car crashes weren’t in car seats, booster seats, or wearing seat belts,” she said. “Those kids would have had a better chance of surviving had they been buckled up.”
“When children under 7 years old grow out of car seats, their greatest risk is not being placed in booster seats,” Jenkins added. “Booster seats can save lives and are as important as any of the other restraints.”
From 2012 to 2016, 22 children under age 7 were killed in Idaho passenger vehicle crashes. Of those, 13 were unrestrained.
Child Passenger Safety Week is dedicated to teaching parents and caregivers about the importance of correctly installing and using car seats, booster seats, and seat belts. Parents also will be reminded of the importance of registering car seats with the manufacturer so they can be notified in the event of a recall.
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 car seat, he or she is ready to travel in a forward-facing car seat with a harness. After outgrowing the car seats, children should be placed in booster seats until they are big enough to fit seat belts properly without help from a booster seat.
NHTSA and ITD recommend keeping children in the back seat until at least age 13. It’s the safest place for kids to ride.
To help parents and caregivers in Idaho select the right car seats for their children, certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians will hold free car seat-check events around the state.
“These are events where parents can come out and know for sure that their kids are as safe as possible when riding in a car,” Jenkins said. “If you have questions at all about your car seats please attend one of these events.”
National Child Passenger Safety Week Events:
Friday, Sept. 28, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., at Nell J Redfield Memorial Hospital, Malad, (208) 766-5368
Saturday, Sept. 29, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., at St. Luke’s Children, Nampa, (208) 381-3033
Saturday, Sept. 29, 1 p.m. – 3 p.m., at Meridian Fire Dept, Station One, Meridian,
Saturday, Sept. 29, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., at Walmart Supercenter, 2470 Pullman Road, Moscow,
That’s why the car seat-check events are scheduled during National Child Passenger Safety Week and the month of September. Parents can come out and know for sure that their kids are as safe as possible when riding in a car.”