Each year, Child Passenger Safety Week (CPS) is celebrated across the country to remind parents and caregivers of the need to keep children of all ages properly restrained in the seat that meets their weight and height requirements.
Child Passenger Safety Technicians will be present at Seat Check from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Sept. 24, at Dell Childrenâ€™s Medical Center. A seat check ensures that families are using the right restraint for their child, whether it is a car seat, booster seat or seat belt.
â€śAll it takes is following a few basic guidelines so parents and caregivers can determine which restraint system is best suited to protect their children in a vehicle,â€ť said Tareka Wheeler, program coordinator of Safe Kids Austin, led by Dell Childrenâ€™s Medical Center.
Unfortunately, car crashes remain the leading cause of death for children ages 3-14, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). In efforts to reduce this, Safe Kids USA's multifaceted child passenger safety program â€“ Safe Kids Buckle Up (SKBU) â€“ has been working diligently for the last 14 years. By inspecting 1.4 million car seats; holding 65,000 car seat checkup events; and donating close to 500,000 car seats to families in need, Safe Kids Buckle Up has reached more than 21 million people through events and community outreach efforts.
This year is particularly significant because Safe Kids USA spent the course of a year collecting research data from 79,000 child safety seat inspections. A key finding in the Safe Kids USA research showed that less than 1/3 of the forward facing child seats arriving at seat check events used a top tether. A top tether is a strap at the top of the car seat that hooks to a tether anchor in the vehicle, and which provides added protection to children by helping reduce the forward movement of childâ€™s head in a crash.
"As a nation, we must improve child safety in vehicles and one way to do so is by adopting use of the top tethers. These are on virtually all forward-facing car seats and can be attached to anchors in every car made after 1999,â€ť said Torine Creppy, executive director of Safe Kids Buckle Up. â€śSafe Kids is moving quickly to apply the lessons learned from the studyâ€ť
Come out to Dell Childrenâ€™s Medical Center for a safety seat checkup. It is a great time for you and your family to make sure that your child safety seat is installed correctly and to learn when it is time to from one seat to another based on your childâ€™s age, weight and height.
"When in doubt about proper car seat use, parents should take advantage of the many resources that are available through Safe Kids USA and others." said Vivian Pickard, President of the General Motors Foundation, the sponsor of Safe Kids Buckle Up (SKBU).