Pennsylvania Prepares to Mark National Child Passenger Safety Week

National Child Passenger Safety Week is next week, Sept. 18-24. Pennsylvania officials are preparing to mark it with free checkups of child safety seats and are urging parents and guardians of young children to participate.

Making sure you have the right seat, and that it is adjusted properly, can help keep your child as safe as possible on the road. Taking a moment to check the fitting is definitely time well spent.

That’s why PennDOT, law enforcement agencies, and safety groups hold this annual event. Last year, more than 5,000 car seats were checked, at over 140 locations around Pennsylvania.

State Police Commissioner Frank Noonan encouraged adults to make sure kids are restrained properly. If anyone has any doubts about whether they are using a child safety seat properly, now is the time to visit a safety inspection location.”

PennDOT Secretary Barry J Schoch adds that do-it-yourself doesn’t always work well, when it comes to installation of child safety seats. He cites data showing that 8 of every 10 child seats are installed incorrectly.

Without proper restraint, it is far more likely that, in the event of a motor vehicle accident, the child would be thrown from the vehicle. Last year in Pennsylvania, nine children, ranging in age from newborns to age 8, were killed in car crashes. And over 2,000 were injured.

Under Pennsylvania law, children under age 4 must sit in car seats that meet federal safety approval. Between ages 4 and 8, children who are not in car safety seats must use booster seats.

Safety officials also strongly recommend that children 12 and under always ride in the back seat. This is because of the danger that air bag deployment poses for young children.

Source: “Pennsylvania State Police, PennSOT Mark National Child Passenger Safety Week,” YahooNews, 9-15-11