National Child Passenger Safety Week is September 19-25, 2010 and the Ford-Iroquois Public Health Department is urging parents and caregivers to make sure their child’s safety seat is properly installed. On Friday, September 24, 2010, Jeanne Brown, certified safety seat technician, along with the Illinois State Police will conduct a child safety seat clinic at the WalMart in Watseka, IL. The clinic will be held from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. and is conducted free of charge. Seat inspections will also be available at the Ford-Iroquois Public Health Department offices in Paxton and Watseka during the entire week.
“It’s the responsibility of every single parent and caregiver out there to make sure their children are safely restrained – every trip, every time,” said Brown. “We are urging everyone to get their child’s safety seat inspected. When it comes to the safety of a child, there is no room for mistakes.”
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) research, 8,959 lives have been saved from 1975 to 2008 by the proper use of child restraints.
In 2008, among children under age 5 in passenger vehicles, an estimated 244 lives were saved by child restraint use (child safety seats and adult seat belts). Research shows that child restraints provide the best protection for all children up to age 8.
For maximum child passenger safety, parents and caregivers should follow the 4 Steps for Kids guidelines that determine which restraint system is best suited to protect children based on age and size:
1. For the best possible protection keep infants in the back seat, in rear-facing child safety seats, as long as possible up to the height or weight limit of the particular seat. At a minimum, keep infants rear-facing until age 1 and at least 20 pounds.
2. When children outgrow their rear-facing seats they should ride in forward-facing safety seats, in the back seat, until they reach the upper weight or height limit of the particular seat (usually around age 4 and 40 pounds).
3. Once children outgrow their forward-facing seats they should ride in booster seats, in the back seat, until the vehicle seat belts fit properly. Seat belts fit properly when the lap belt lays across the upper thighs and the shoulder belt fits across the chest (usually at age 8 or when they are 4’9″ tall).
4. When children outgrow their booster seats they can use the adult seat belt in the back seat. All children younger than 13 should ride in the back seat
For more information regarding Child Passenger Safety Week or to schedule a safety seat inspection, contact child passenger safety technicians Jeanne Brown at 815-432-2483 or Vicki Connolly at 217-379-9281.
Contact: Julie Clark, PIO