Child passenger safety in vehicles focus of special week
Correct installation of a child safety or booster seat could save the life of the child riding in it.
That is the focus this week as the Center for Traffic Safety and the Safe Kids York County team of certified child passenger safety technicians as they participate in Child Passenger Safety Week through Saturday.
The organizations will have three free car seat check events this week to help parents and caregivers make sure they are correctly installing those safety seats.
The first is from 3:30 to 6 p.m. Tuesday at the Spring Garden Township Police Department, 341 Tri Hill Road in York.
The second will be from 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday at the Giant Food Store in Dillsburg, 830 N. Route 15.
The third will be from 9 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday at the Morning Sun Marketplace, 5309 Lincoln Highway in Thomasville.
According to a statement from the organizations, the latest research shows that 46% of car seats are misused. Children who are correctly buckled in a car seat, booster seat or seat belt benefit from the single most effective way to protect motor vehicle occupants and reduce fatalities in a crash.
Statistics recorded in 2020 showed that three children under the age of 14 were killed in vehicle accidents every day.
“When it comes to correctly using a car seat, do not think you know, know for sure that a child is secure in their car seat, booster seat, or seat belt that is right for their age and size,” Missy Sweitzer with the Center for Traffic Safety said in a statement.
Using the correct car seat reduces the chance of fatal injury for infants by 71% and toddlers by 54%. Parents should select a car seat based on the child’s age, weight and height.
In Pennsylvania, the driver is responsible for securing children in the appropriate child restraint system. Children from birth up to age 4 must be secured in an approved child safety seat anywhere in the vehicle.
A child younger than 2 years of age shall be secured in a rear-facing car seat, to be used until the child outgrows the maximum weight and height limits designated by the car seat manufacturer. Children ages 4 to 8 must be in a booster seat and secured with a lap and shoulder belt anywhere in the vehicle. Children ages 818 must be secured in a seat belt system anywhere in the vehicle. Under Pennsylvania’s seat belt law, all drivers are responsible for the front seat passengers to wear a properly adjusted and fastened seat belt.
For information about other car seat checkup locations and discounted car seat distribution/loaner programs for parents unable to afford a car seat, call Safe Kids York County at 888-232-SAFE (7233).
— Reach Anthony Maenza at email@example.com or @atmaenza on Twitter.