FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Child Passenger Safety Week September 18-24, 2022
September 14, 2022
Every year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) partners with local communities to hold Child Passenger Safety Week, which runs this year from September 18-24. Defiance County Public Health is holding a car seat class on Thursday September 22. Eligible families can receive a free car seat or booster after attending the class. Child Passenger Safety Technicians (CPST) at the Health Department also conduct car seat checks upon request. CPSTs will help determine if your children are in the right seats for their ages and sizes, and make sure they are installed in vehicles correctly.
“Most parents think their kids are in the right seats and that the seats are installed the right way,” said Public Health Nurse, Katie Marbaugh, “but the reality is that nearly half of car seats are installed incorrectly, leaving kids vulnerable to injury in a crash.” Sadly, two children under 13 were killed every day in 2020 while riding in vehicles, and another 278 were injured. “Don’t wait for a crash to happen to find out if your child’s seat is installed correctly. At that point, it’s too late to check,” Katie added. “Child passenger safety technicians provide education to caregivers throughout a seat check, empowering them to install car seats into any compatible vehicle with confidence. CPSTs recommend best practice information to families, allowing them to provide the safest protection for all passengers in their vehicle.”
One of the most common mistakes parents and caregivers make with car seats is moving their children to the next seat or position too soon. Keep children rear-facing as long as possible, up to the top height or weight allowed by their particular seats. The recommendations are based on decades of research that have shown the safest way for children to ride in vehicles. Once a child outgrows a rear-facing car seat, he or she is ready to travel in a forward-facing car seat with a harness and tether. The tether is 100% essential for installing a forward-facing car seat; it keeps the seat from moving forward in a crash. After outgrowing the forward-facing car seat, a child should be buckled in a booster seat until tall enough to fit in an adult seat belt properly. Children might ask to ditch the booster seat because it makes them feel older to ride without it, but the truth is: their safety is what matters most.
To schedule an appointment with a Child Passenger Safety Technician, or to see if you are eligible to receive a free car seat, contact Defiance County Public Health at 419-784-3818. For more information on child car seat safety, go to www.nhtsa.gov/therightseat.