A week of events from Sept. 23-29 will culminate with Seat Check Saturday
The Governor’s Office of Highway Safety and its partners throughout the state recommend parents and caregivers make sure their children are riding safe by having their safety seat checked by a certified technician.
Health departments, sheriff’s offices, Safe Kids chapters and other highway safety partners will be holding free safety events and car seat checks around Georgia during National Child Passenger Safety Week Sept. 23-29.
At a time when car crashes are still a leading cause of death for children, Child Passenger Safety Week utilizes activities like community events, training classes and car seat checks to make sure that not only car seats are installed correctly, but that children are buckled correctly.
“It is our job as parents and caregivers to make sure our precious cargo is as safe and secure as possible while we’re behind the wheel,” Governor’s Office of Highway Safety Communications Manager Robert Hydrick said. “Even if you think your child’s car seat is installed correctly, use Child Passenger Safety Week to get it double checked by a certified child passenger safety technician.”
Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicates two-out-of-three car seats are installed incorrectly. In addition, research shows car seats reduce the risk of fatal injury by 71 percent with infants and 54 percent with toddlers in passenger vehicles. Unfortunately in Georgia, 388 children age 5 or older were killed in unrestrained traffic fatalities in 2015. State law requires child passengers to be restrained in a car seat or booster seat appropriate for their height and weight until the age of 8.
NHTSA recommends keeping car seats rear-facing as long as possible, up to the maximum height or weight allowed by each seat’s manufacturer guidelines. Once a child outgrows the rear-facing-only “infant” car seat, he/she should travel in a rear-facing “convertible” or all-in-one car seat. Once a child outgrows the rear-facing size limits, the child is ready to travel in a forward-facing car seat with a harness. After outgrowing the forward-facing car seat with harness, children should be placed in booster seats until they’re the right size to use seat belts safely. And if children are under 13 years old, they should always sit in the back seat.
“Every 33 seconds in 2015, a child under 13 was involved in a traffic crash,” Hydrick said. “Using car seats that are age and size-appropriate is the best way to keep your children safe. Car seats, booster seats and seatbelts can make all the difference.”
Parents and caregivers in Georgia can also visit https://www.gahighwaysafety.org/fullpanel/uploads/files/copy-of-2018-complete-county-fitting-stations-list-062818.pdf for a county-by-county list of car seat fitting stations in Georgia.
During Child Passenger Safety Week, many local health departments, sheriff’s offices, fire departments and Safe Kids chapters will be holding special events to increase child passenger safety and awareness. Those interested in attending such events can contact their local health department for details.