Child Passenger Safety Awareness Week
It is time for Child Passenger Safety Awareness Week. This awareness campaign is designed to keep kids out of harm’s way when it comes to vehicle safety. For 2020, Child Passenger Safety Awareness Week takes place from September 20th through the 26th.
Safety First During Child Passenger Safety Awareness Week
Many adults don’t realize just how often danger can strike us in our vehicles. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2016, an average of two children under 13 were killed each day while riding in cars, SUVs, pickups or vans. This is sad, yet all too common. How can we prevent tragedies like these? In many cases, these situations can be prevented with education and proper use of seat belts and car seats.
For adults and older children, the seat belt is the easiest and best way to save lives. Just be sure that the belts are being worn properly, with the shoulder strap securely worn over the shoulder and across the chest. Before starting the vehicle, make sure every person in the care is properly buckled up. Car crashes are often fatal, but careful use of seatbelts can help to reduce this danger. Take this time during Child Passenger Safety Awareness Week to turn this practice into a lifelong habit.
Car Safety Seats
For little ones, a seatbelt just won’t do. They’re simply not big enough for the belt to properly protect them. This is where car safety seats come in. During a crash or sudden stop, a properly installed car safety seat can protect the child’s brain and spinal cord.
According to AAA, when properly used, car safety seats can reduce the risk of injury in young children by 71% to 82%. Additionally, these seats reduce the risk of death by 28% when compared to children who are protected by only seat belts alone. Put plainly, these seats provide an extra layer of protection.
Of course, not all seats are the same. Part of Child Passenger Safety Awareness Week is knowing what to look for in car safety seat. For example, until age two, parents should use a rear-facing car seat. As the child grows, it will then be time to advance to a forward-facing seat.
Next, be sure to read the included instructions for your particular child safety seat. Additionally, don’t neglect the child safety seat information in your vehicle’s owner’s manual. These will both provide invaluable information, both for installation and general use. Additionally, be sure to pay close attention to the weight and height limits for each seat.
To learn more about car seat safety, read our full blog post. For extra security, National Seat Check Saturday is September 26th. On this day, you can visit a Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician in your community. These helpful experts will, either in person or virtually, be able to verify that your car safety seat is installed correctly. Find a car seat inspection station in your local area using this handy search tool.
Register to Learn About Product Recalls
One topic that we often cover on the Child Safety Store blog is product recalls. These are important announcements about major products that have a defect that might harm children. This can be anything from inclined sleepers to bike helmets. Of course, sometimes car safety seats are recalled. To be absolutely sure that you will be alerted to any potential problems, every car seat should be registered with the manufacturer. New seats all come with a way to do this either online or through the mail. This simple step can keep you informed of potential dangers and give you guidance on what to do if your car seat is recalled.
Accidents can always happen. However, if we prepare and educate ourselves, we can help to limit the danger. A bit of extra care during Child Passenger Safety Awareness Week can serve as a reminder for the long term. It could even save a life.