Certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians Helped Parents and Caregivers With Car Seat Installation
Saturday’s National Seat Check event in West Chicago was a success, according to Sergeant Eugene Samuel. There were fifteen car seats inspected by Certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians, who provided hands-on education to all parents and caregivers in attendance to make sure their car seats were installed and used correctly. Parents were also reminded to register their car seats with the manufacturer to be notified of recalls.
“Every parent and caregiver walked away with more information and greater peace-of-mind about their children’s safety,” said Sergeant Samuel . “By coming to National Seat Check Saturday and having their car seats checked, there’s no more guessing as to whether their children will be more secure in the event of a crash. Now they know that their kids are riding as safely and securely as possible.” He said that far too many car seats are being used or installed incorrectly, despite kids’ safety being a top priority for parents. The free event was the City ’s way of participating in Child Passenger Safety Week, which ran from September 17- 23, 2017.
“We are saddened by recent data that shows fatalities from motor vehicle crashes are on the rise for children under 13, but we will continue to make steady progress,” Sergeant Samuels said. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) data, from 2011-2015, there were 3,194 children under the age of 13 killed, and an estimated 599,000 injured in crashes while riding in cars, pickups, vans, and SUVs. “Those are steep numbers that could have been reduced had all kids been riding securely in their car seats or seat belts. That’s what these events are all about: empowering consumers to take action to keep their kids safe. And that’s why we were out there on Saturday—to make parents aware of the dangers their children face when they aren’t properly buckled in a vehicle,” said Sergeant Samuel.
He also said that parents and caregivers should follow the NHTSA’s car seat recommendations at www.nhtsa.gov/carseat to keep children in the right type of car seats (rear-facing car seat, forward-facing car seat, booster seat, or seat belt) for their ages and sizes. Children are often moved to the front seat too soon, exposing kids to increased risk in a crash. NHTSA reminds parents and caregivers that the safest place for all kids under 13 is in the back seat of the car. According to NHTSA data, in 2015, about 25.8 percent of children 4 to 7 were prematurely moved to seat belts, when they should have been riding in booster seats. Vehicle seat belts are designed for adult occupants and generally do not fit young children properly.
“Parents don’t have to wait for the next National Seat Check Saturday to make sure their car seats are installed properly,” Sergeant Samuel noted. “Parents and caregivers can locate local Child Car Seat Inspection Stations by visiting www.nhtsa.gov/carseat.”
For more information on NHTSA’s best-practice car seat recommendations and other child car seat safety tips, visit www.nhtsa.gov/carseat.