RALEIGH - N.C. Department of Transportation’s Secretary Conti today urged motorists to always properly secure their children in age- and size-appropriate car seats and booster seats or seatbelts. He also encourages citizens to participate in child passenger safety clinics being held across the state Sept. 17-23 as part of Child Passenger Safety Week.
“Adults have the responsibility to make sure children are always properly secured before leaving home,” Conti said. “Throughout the week, visit a car seat safety clinic to have car seats checked by a certified technician.”
New recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics advise parents to keep their children in rear-facing car seats until at least age 2, or until they reach the maximum height and weight for their seat. It also advises children should use a belt-positioning booster seat until the vehicle lap or shoulder seat belt fits properly, typically when they have reached 4 feet 9 inches tall and are between 8 and 12 years of age.
In 2011, more than 90 percent of children involved in crashes were reported to have been buckled up. While the rate of deaths in motor vehicle crashes for children under age 15 has decreased substantially in North Carolina (by more than 80 percent since 1981), it is still a leading cause of death for children ages 4 and older due to the sizable number of children not buckled up at the time of the crash. Twenty-six passenger vehicle occupants ages 14 and under were killed in 2011. Of these, nearly half were unrestrained.
In conjunction with Child Passenger Safety Week, local Safe Kids coalitions and Buckle Up Kids programs will conduct child passenger safety clinics to teach parents and other caregivers how to use their car seats properly. Parents and caregivers are encouraged to attend CPS Week events during the week of Sept. 17-23 to have their seats checked by a certified technician.
For more information about the proper use of car seats and seat belts, visit www.buckleupnc.org. For a complete listing of CPS Week clinics and other events, refer to the “Local CPS Events Calendar” link. To find “year-round” child passenger safety programs and permanent car seat checking stations in you county, click on the “Find local programs and checking stations” link.
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