LIVINGSTON COUNTY – Cornell Cooperative Extension of Livingston County’s (CCE) Traffic Safety Education Program is collaborating with other Livingston County agencies to hold several events promoting the focus of this campaign.
According to a press release from CCE, Certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians will teach and instruct on the use of car seats, booster seats, and seat belts for children, culminating with a National Seat Check Saturday on Sept. 19 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Noyes Memorial Hospital, 111 Clara Barton Street, Dansville.
CCE cited 2014 statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHSTA) suggesting that car crashes are a leading cause of death for children. Every 34 seconds, a child under age 13 is involved in a crash. From 2009 to 2013, 3,335 children under age 13 were killed and an estimated 611,000 children were injured in car crashes.
Technicians will educate consumers about choosing the right car seat for their child, the importance of registering car seats with the manufacturer, and what to expect if the seat is subject to a safety recall.
NHTSA’s goal for child passenger safety is to make sure all parents and caregivers are correctly using the right restraint (rear-facing car seat, forward-facing car seat, booster seat, or seat belt) for their child’s age and size.
CCE said that while it is recommended that children ride rear facing as long as possible, it is a requirement for children 2 years and younger. A rear-facing child safety seat, with a harness, does a better job of supporting the head, neck, and spine of infants and toddlers in a crash because it distributes the force of the collision over the entire body (AAP, 2011). There are different types of rear-facing car seats. Infant-only seats can only be used rear-facing. Convertible and 3-in-1 car seats typically have higher height and weight limits for the rear-facing position, allowing the child to be rear-facing for a longer period of time. When the child exceeds the weight and height for the restraint, they may use a forward facing child safety seat with a harness.
CCE added that when the child reaches at least 4 years old and weighs at least 40 lbs., a booster seat can be used. Keep the child in a booster seat until he or she is big enough to fit in a seat belt properly. For a seat belt to fit properly, the lap belt must lie snugly across the upper thighs, not the stomach. The shoulder belt should lie snug across the shoulder and chest and not cross the neck or face. Children under 12 should always ride in the back seat.
NHSTA 2013 data suggests that in 2012, 264 children’s lives were saved by correctly used restraint devices.