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Parents offered free resources to ensure children’s safety as part of Child Passenger Safety Week

Every day in America, many children ride in car seats that have been installed incorrectly or are the wrong car seats for their age and size. Other children ride while completely unbuckled.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 59 percent of car seats are misused.

To help combat the issue, the Kentucky Office of Highway Safety (KOHS) announced its participation in “Child Passenger Safety Week,” a campaign dedicated to helping parents and caregivers make sure their children ride as safely as possible, every trip, every time. Child Passenger Safety Week runs Sept. 18-24 and is sponsored by NHTSA.


“Every 33 seconds, a child under 13 is involved in a motor vehicle crash,” said KOHS Child Passenger Safety Coordinator DeShaun Bailey. “Using car seats that are age- and size-appropriate is the best way to keep your child safe.”

Five free child seat checks are offered throughout the week:

· Corbin: Tuesday, Sept. 20 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Corbin Fire Department, 805 South Main St. #106

· Louisville: Tuesday, Sept. 20 from 9 a.m. to noon with Safe Kids Louisville Coalition at Louisville Metro Police Department’s Second Division (Park DuValle neighborhood), 3419 Bohne Ave.

· Louisville: Thursday, Sept. 22 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. with Safe Kids Louisville Coalition at Babies R Us, 4623 Shelbyville Road

· London: Thursday, Sept. 22 from 11:30 a.m. 1 p.m. at the Laurel County Health Department, 525 Whitley St.

· Lexington: Friday, Sept. 23 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. with Safe Kids Fayette County Coalition at Target, 131 West Reynolds Road

According to NHTSA, motor vehicle crashes are a leading killer of children, and the proper use of car seats, booster seats and seat belts can make all the difference.

Additionally, parents frequently move their children to the front seat before they should, which increases the risk of injury and death. The safest place for all kids under 13 is in the back seats of cars. Also according to NHTSA, approximately 24 percent of children age four to seven who should be riding in booster seats were prematurely moved to seat belts, and nine percent were unbuckled altogether.

“It’s our job to keep our children safe,” Bailey said. “We encourage you to get your car seats checked to make certain they are installed correctly, and that your kids are in the right seats and are buckled in correctly. Even if you think your child is safe, check again, so you can be sure that your child is the safest he or she can be while traveling.”

NHTSA recommends keeping children rear-facing as long as possible up to the top height or weight allowed by their particular seats. Once a child outgrows the rear-facing-only “infant” car seat, he/she should travel in a rear-facing “convertible” or all-in-one car seat. Once your child outgrows the rear-facing size limits, the child is ready to travel in a forward-facing car seat with a harness and tether. After outgrowing the forward-facing car seats with harness, children should be placed in booster seats until they’re the right size to use seat belts safely.

Always remember to register your car seat and booster seat with the car seat manufacturer so you can be notified in the event of a recall. Parents and caregivers can view more information on car seat safety and locate a certified technician at www.safercar.gov/parents.

From Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Communications

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