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Did you know more than 2,600 children under age 13 are involved in a car crash every day? That's one child every 33 seconds.
These statistics are staggering, but we can change them by understanding that protecting children is everyone's responsibility, and that deaths and injuries are preventable.
There is no better time than National Child Passenger Safety Week, Sept. 18-24, to raise awareness of the importance of proper use of car seats, booster seats and seat belts. The National Safety Council has outlined some important passenger safety steps in its Child Restraint Position Statement released last month.
Parents and caregivers, I encourage you to read the position statement and educate yourselves on how to properly secure children – and all individuals riding in your vehicle – in a manner that provides the best safety protection based on their height, weight and developmental level. Use this knowledge year-round to keep children safe while traveling, no matter how short the trip.
The safety restraints we're recommending probably go above and beyond the minimum requirements in your state. That's because too often state laws are no match for the laws of physics. We can, and must, do better.
Child passenger safety extends beyond the use of car seats; it also includes the correct use of booster seats and seat belts. It's important to make sure car seats are installed correctly and restraints are used correctly. During Child Passenger Safety Week, on National Seat Check Saturday, Sept. 24, car seat safety checks will be conducted across the country by nationally certified technicians. Please take advantage of this service and make sure your loved ones are always properly secured in your vehicle.
Car seats, booster seats and seat belts save lives and offer the best protection for children in crashes. Help reduce injuries and the tragic loss of life by buckling up yourself, your children and all passengers —every trip, every time.
Legislative advocates are encouraged to use the NSC Child Restraint Position Statement while supporting stronger child passenger and seat belt legislation. Advocates can contact NSC for letters of support. Those in community education and outreach can use this position statement as a resource for program and position justifications. Please review it and let us know how it benefitted you in your work, home or community.