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U.S. DOT and Safe Kids Kick-Off Child Passenger Safety Week
U.S. DOT and Safe Kids Kick-off Child Passenger Safety Week With New Survey on Common Car Seat Mistakes
U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today joined National Highway Traffic Safety Administrator David Strickland and Safe Kids President and CEO Kate Carr for the kick-off of Child Passenger Safety Week to remind parents and caregivers to make sure that they are properly using and installing their child safety seats. A new National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) survey shows that parents are making five significant mistakes when using car seats and booster seats. It also found that one in five parents do not read any instructions when installing seats.
“The key to keeping kids safe is to make sure your child is in the right seat for their age and size - and to make sure that the seat is correctly installed in your vehicle,” said Secretary Ray LaHood. “We encourage everyone to take advantage of the many resources available to ensure you’ve done everything to properly protect your child.”
According to a new NHTSA survey, the following are the five most significant and commonly observed mistakes made by parents and caregivers when using and installing car seats and booster seats:
1. Wrong harness slot used - The harness straps used to hold the child in the car seat were positioned either too low or too high;
2. Harness chest clip positioned over the abdomen rather than the chest or not used at all;
3. Loose car seat installation - The restraint system moved more than two inches side-to-side or front to back; anything more than one inch is too much.
4. Loose harness - More than two inches of total slack between the child and the harness strap; there should be no slack.
5. Seat belt placement was wrong – Lap belt resting over the stomach and/or shoulder belt on the child’s neck or face.
The survey also revealed that 20 percent of all drivers of child passengers did not read any instructions on how to properly install their child restraints, yet 90 percent felt ‘confident’ or ‘very confident’ that their car seats and booster seats were installed correctly.
“Child safety seats save hundreds of young lives every year, but proper use is vital,” said Administrator David Strickland. “That’s why we’re urging everyone to make sure their kids are properly protected on every trip, every time.”
“Child safety seats can significantly reduce the risk of death or injury in the event of a crash,” said Kate Carr. “Engineers are working hard to ensure cars and car seats are designed to keep kids as safe as possible. But it’s up to every parent to take full advantage of these innovations by making sure car seats are used and installed correctly. Safe Kids and NHTSA are teaming up to show them how.”
Child Passenger Safety Week began September 15and culminates September 21with National Seat Check Saturday. Car seat inspections offer drivers the chance to receive assistance and guidance from certified car seat technicians regarding proper installation of their child safety and booster seats.
The City of Carbondale Police Department will be hosting a car seat safety check on Saturday, September 21 from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at Auffenberg of Carbondale, 1015 East Walnut Street.
For additional information regarding Seat Check Saturday or other child passenger safety services available at Carbondale Police Department, please contact Kimberly McCutchen Brooks at 618-457-3200 ext. 471.