An appropriate and correctly installed child passenger safety seat may be the one thing that makes the difference between life and death for a child involved in a traffic collision. In 2012, 45 percent of all California children under the age of eight who were killed in a collision were not properly restrained.
To help raise awareness of the importance of these lifesaving devices for children, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) will observe National Child Passenger Safety Week, September 14 – 20, 2014.
Throughout the week, CHP offices will be conducting child safety seat events statewide.
On Saturday, September 13, 2014, the California Highway Patrol, the Colusa County Department of Health, the Family Action Centers of Colusa County and First Five Colusa County collaborated with a Car Seat Check-up event at the Colusa County Fairgrounds.
“Protecting a child is a parent’s primary responsibility,” said CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow. “No child should die in a collision or suffer serious injury because they were not properly restrained. As a parent or guardian, a child’s survival may depend on you.”
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), collisions are the leading cause of death for children 1 to 13 years old. The CHP’s Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System data indicates that 60 children, 13 years of age or younger, were killed in collisions in California in 2012. Approximately 43 percent of those children were not safely secured in the vehicle.
California law requires that a child be properly re strained in an appropriate child safety seat in the back seat until they are 8 years old. A child who is 8 years, and 4-foot 9-inches or taller, may ride in the back seat with a lap/shoulder belt.
“We want to help you do all you can to best protect your child in your car. During Child Passenger Safety Week, we are encouraging all parents and caregivers to have their car seat checked by a certified technician,” said Rhonda Craft, Director of the California Office of Traffic Safety. “When it comes to the safety of your child, there is no room for mistakes. A car seat checkup will ensure that your child is safely and securely buckled in your car.”
- The CHP and OTS recommend the following safety tips for proper car seat selection and installation:
- Select a car seat based on your child’s age and size, choose a seat that fits in your vehicle, and use it every time.
- Always refer to your specific car seat manufacturer’s instructions; read the vehicle owner’s manual on how to install the car seat using the seat belt or LATCH system and check height and weight limits.
- To maximize safety, keep your child in the car seat for as long as possible, as long as the child fits within the manufacturer’s height and weight requirements.
- Keep your child in the back seat at least through age 12.For more information or a free inspection of your child safety seat, contact the CHP office nearest you to make an appointment with a Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician.
The Colusa County Public Health Department offers several Child Passenger Safety Classes at a cost of $20. Upcoming class dates include: October 6 & 13, at the Colusa County Public Health Department at 10:00 AM; October 9, at First 5 Colusa at 6:00 PM; October 20, at the Arbuckle Family Action Center at 10:00 AM. For more information contact the agency directly. Classes are bilingual.■