While auto accidents are a leading cause of death for children under age 13, experts say many of these related deaths and injuries could have been prevented by the proper use and installation of car seats, boosters and seat belts. In fact, statistics show that 9 out of every 10 car seats are used incorrectly.
Sept. 23-29 is National Child Passenger Safety Week, which makes it an opportune time to have your child’s baby or booster seat inspected to make sure it is properly secured in their vehicle.
Here are some tips from the National Safety Council on child passenger safety and proper installation of child safety seats:
- Take advantage of car seat safety checks held nationwide during National Child Passenger Safety Week.
- Queen’s Medical Center offers free car seat checkups with a certified, child passenger safety technician every 2nd Saturday of the month. Call 808-691-7117 to schedule an appointment or for more information.
- Kaiser Permanente offers free car seat inspections at their Mapunapuna and Waipio locations. Call 808-432-2260 to schedule an appointment or for more information visit their Facebook Page.
- If you’re pregnant, schedule a car seat installation with a certified child passenger safety technician before your child is born.
- Children should ride in the back seat at least through age 12. Front seat air bags can save the lives of older children and adults, but they can be fatal for young children.
- If your kids complain or make a fuss about wearing seat belts, don’t negotiate. And don’t drive off until they’re buckled up.
- Always be consistent and wear your seat belt; safety belt use by adults strongly influences whether your child will buckle up.
- The average life of a car seat is from six to eight years. Before attempting to reuse a child safety seat for a different child, make sure it still complies with all federal safety regulations, which can change over the years.
Whether it’s a short trip or a long commute, keep your family safe during every car ride!