Have car seats checked
According to research by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, three out of four child safety seats are improperly installed in vehicles.
Kansas Highway Patrol is urging parents and caregivers to have their child safety seats inspected. The patrol will participate in National Child Passenger Safety Week, Sept. 21-27, to promote the proper installation of child car and booster seats.
National Seat Check Saturday will be Saturday when the patrol will have certified technicians available to provide free, on-site child safety seat inspections at various times and locations throughout the state.
In 2006, the Kansas Child Passenger Safety Act was amended to require children ages four through seven who are under four feet, nine inches in height or less than 80 pounds to be properly secured in booster seats. Children in this age group often are too small for seat belts. Seat belts are designed for adults and lay incorrectly across the neck and stomach of a child. These children need a “boost” to ensure the seat belt will fit securely across their chests, and low and snug across their hips to help prevent internal injuries or neck, head, and spinal injuries in the event of a crash.
Caregivers are advised to follow these four steps:
- Use rear-facing safety seats in the back seat from birth to at least one year of age and 20 pounds.
- Use forward-facing toddler seats in the back seat from age one and 20 pounds to about age four and 40 pounds.
- Use booster seats in the back seat from about four to at least age eight unless the child is taller than four-feet-nine-inches, weighs more than 80 pounds, or when only a lap belt is available, then only a seat belt is required.
- Use seat belts in the back seat at age eight and older.
NHTSA studies show the three most common mistakes in installing a child safety seat are not attaching the seat correctly and tightly to the car or truck, not fastening the harness tight enough, and not using the chest clip or using it incorrectly.
In Marion County, contact Marion County Health Department to have a child safety seat installed or inspected. Call (620) 382-2550 for more information.