We all know the importance of safety belts, and for most adults strapping in has become a matter of instinct. Yet, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), collisions are the leading killer of children ages 1 to 12 years old in the United States.
The NHTSA says across the nation, 73 percent of child restraints are misused in a manner that can cause serious - if not fatal - injuries to a child. Infant seats have the highest percentage of misuse followed by rear-facing convertible seats. When used correctly, child safety seats can reduce fatal injury by up to 71 percent for infants and 54 percent for toddlers.
California’s child passenger safety seat law, which went into effect January 1, 2012, requires children to ride in the back seat of a vehicle, in either a car seat or booster seat, until the age of eight, or until they are 4 feet 9 inches in height.
This week, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) will observe National Child Passenger Safety Week by conducting child safety seat events throughout the state.
During these events, CHP child safety seat technicians will assist the public by demonstrating and teaching the proper way to install an infant or child safety seat. The technicians will perform safety inspections for all children in the vehicle who are required to be in a safety seat or a seat belt.
“When installed and used correctly, child safety seats and safety belts can prevent injuries and save lives,” said CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow.
“The best way to protect your children in the car is to put them in the right seat, at the right time, and use it the right way.”
“We encourage everyone to take advantage of our ongoing free inspections and to ensure their child safety seat is correctly installed,” added Commissioner Farrow.
“When it comes to our children, we have to take every step we can to ensure their safety.”
Parents are encouraged to contact their local CHP Area office to make an appointment with a child safety seat technician for a free car seat inspection or to request information on any child passenger safety events taking place in your area. , or http://www.chp.ca.gov/community/safeseat.html