For Greene County News
DAYTON – According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHSTA), traffic crashes are one of the leading causes of death in children ages 1 through 13-years-old.
The proper use of child passenger seats can help prevent deaths and serious injuries. National Child Passenger Safety Week is Sept. 13-19 and serves as a time to remind parents, grandparents and child care givers, that children need to be properly restrained every time they ride in a car.
During Child Passenger Safety Week, AAA offers important tips about child passenger safety:
– When purchasing a car seat, make sure to register it either by mail or online so you will be notified of any recalls. Avoid second-hand seats unless the history of it is known. This includes: all labels are on the seat; all parts and instructions included; not involved in a crash; not too old (more than six years). The expiration date is stamped on the seat. The correct use of a child safety seat reduces the risk of death by as much as 71 percent, according to NHTSA.
– Booster seats: Using a booster seat is 60 percent safer for kids than being restrained by a seat belt alone. Keep children in booster seats until they’re big enough to fit properly in a seat belt. For a proper seat belt fit, the lap belt must be low and tight, touching the top of the thighs, not the stomach. The shoulder belt should lie snug across the shoulder and chest, and not cross the neck or face.
– Seat belts: According to the Centers for Disease Control, seat belts reduce serious crash-related injuries and deaths by about 50 percent. Kids younger than 13 should ride in the back seat with seat belts on, as it’s safest.
There are some car seats that are potentially dangerous and should not be used. Examples include:
– Car seats that have been in a vehicle that was involved in a crash.
– Car seats secured from unknown sources, such as garage sales (due to unknown history, these seats may have been in a vehicle that crashed or may be missing parts).
– Car seats that are expired
– Car seats listed on a recall notice (not all recalls affect the safety of the seat).
Choosing the right seat, installing it and using it correctly can prove to be a daunting task. With more than 20 manufacturers producing car seats that range from rear-facing infant seats to convertibles and booster seats, choosing the right seat for a child can be a challenge. But installation can be even more challenging, considering the wide variety of vehicle makes and models.
Becoming a Certified Child Passenger Safety (CPS) Technician begins with 32-hours of in-class and hands-on training. In addition, every two years CPS technicians must complete six hours of continuing education. AAA CPS techs spend hundreds of hours providing free car seat checks to ensure our most precious cargo are safe every time they ride in a car.
“When purchasing a new car seat, it is crucial that the registration card be completed and returned,” AAA Miami Valley Area CPS Technicion Diane Smith said. “The registration card is the key to being notified in cases of recalls. Recalls do not occur often, but when they do, thousands of seats may be affected.”
CPS techs report that approximately three out every four seats they check are not being used correctly, which puts children in danger every time they ride in the vehicle. In addition to free community car seat checks, there are CPS techs located at most Miami Valley area AAA offices who will provide free car seat checks by appointment. AAA locations currently offering free car seat checks:
AAA Allied Group, Inc., 2372 Lakeview Drive. To schedule an appointment contact: Christy Lacy 937-458-2611
Dayton – South
AAA Allied Group, Inc., 14 W Whipp Road. To schedule an appointment contact: Cory Stump 937-281-2760, Rachel Schubeler 937-281-2722.
Story courtesy of Public Affairs Manager Cindy Antrican of AAA.