The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has designated this week, September 19 - 25, as 'Child Passenger Safety Week'. The event is to educate parents and those drivers transporting children of the importance of properly installing the safety seat. Although it may seem a simple task, 3 out of 4 parents do not properly use child restraints resulting in your child not being protecting the way they should be.
Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for children ages 3 - 14. In 2008, there were 37,261 traffic fatalities in the United States. This age group of children accounted for 968 (3%) of vehicle occupant fatalities.
Research has shown that lap/shoulder seat belts, when used correctly, reduce the risk of fatal injury to front seat occupants in passenger cars by 45% and the risk of moderate-to-critical injury by 50%. Proper use of child safety seats has shown to reduce fatal injury by 71% for infants and 54% for toddlers ages 1 - 4.
The Governors Highway Safety Association lists all 50 states that mandate the use of child safety seats for infants and children fitting specific requirements referring to weight and height but they are not all the same. Penalties for not complying with the state law differ among them as well. Although Florida only requires child safety seat use for children 3 and under, be sure to consider your child's size and ultimate safety before considering the use of an adult safety belt.
A free safety check has been scheduled throughout the country to have the installation of your child's safety seat to be inspected. To find the Child Safety Inspection Station in your area, click the highlighted link and enter your zip code for the nearest inspection station. Take advantage of this free service and ensure your children are safe. Florida Highway Patrol also offer inspections by area Child Passenger Safety Technicians on an year-round basis. Call or email for an appointment. You may also qualify for a low-cost child safety seat.