Child Passenger Safety Week: Get child safety seats inspected

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child-safety-seatsMotor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among children ages 2 to 14, due in large part to the nonuse or improper use of child safety seats.

Child Passenger Safety Week is from September 12 to 18, and the City of Long Beach Neighborhood Service Bureau’s Child Passenger Safety (CPS) Program is encouraging the public to obtain important safety information at the following exhibits:

  • September 14, 2009- Dept. of Health and Human Services lobby, 2525 Grand Ave., 9 am to 2 pm
  • September 15, 2009- Miller Children’s Hospital Main lobby, 2801 Atlantic Ave., 9 am to 2 pm
  • September 17, 2009- Miller Children’s Buffum Medical Pavilion, 455 E. Columbia St., 9 am to 2 pm

CPS staff will provide information on the California Child Passenger Safety law, types of safety seats, choosing the correct booster seats for older children, and elements of a correct safety seat installation. Information will be provided on how to schedule a car seat inspection. Educational materials will be available in English, Spanish and Khmer.

“It’s the responsibility of every parent and caregiver out there to make sure their children are safely restrained – every trip, every time,” said Angela Reynolds, Manager of the Neighborhood Services Bureau. “We are urging everyone to get their child safety seats inspected. When it comes to the safety of a child, there is no room for mistakes.”

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) are joining with the City to celebrate Child Passenger Safety Week, whose primary goal is to make sure all children are secured properly in an appropriate seat – every trip, every time. According to NHTSA, an estimated 8,709 lives of children under age 5 have been saved by the proper use of child restraints during the past 32 years.

For maximum child passenger safety, parents and caregivers should refer to the following 4 Steps for Kids guidelines for determining 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 at least age 1 and at least 20 pounds.
  2. When children outgrow their rear-facing seats (at least age 1 and at least 20 pounds) they should ride in forward-facing child 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 (usually around age 4 and 40 pounds), 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, (usually at age 8 or when they are 4’9” tall) they can use the adult seat belts in the back seat, if they fit properly (lap belt lays across the upper thighs and the shoulder belt fits across the chest).

Remember: All children younger than 13 should ride in the back seat.

For more information on Child Passenger Safety Week, a national effort to remind parents and caregivers of the lifesaving effect child safety seats have in protecting young children, please visit www.nhtsa.gov/cps

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