2012-09-06 / Community News

Child Passenger Safety Seat Check-Up Scheduled

In conjunction with National Child Passenger Safety Week, September 16 - 22, the Lee County Extension office will host a Child Passenger Safety Seat Check-Up Event on Wednesday, September 19, at the Giddings Public Library, from 10 am to 1 pm. Certified technicians will be available to provide on-site child safety seat inspections and education. Bring your child, your safety seat, and know your child’s weight and height. County Extension Agent Tonya Poncik urges all parents and caregivers to attend the child safety seat checkup event.

Securing your children properly in age- and size-appropriate child safety seats, in the back seat of your vehicle, is the most effective thing you can do to protect them in the event of a crash. In fact, in motor vehicle crashes, child safety seats reduce the risk of fatal injury by 71 percent for infants and by 54 percent for toddlers. Even though the majority of parents buckle up their children in child safety seats, booster seats, or seat belts, most do not use them correctly. According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly 3 out of 4 child safety seats are not used properly, which is a grave risk when traveling.

From 2006 to 2010, there were 4,028 children, age 12 and younger, killed in car crashes as passenger vehicle occupants, and about 660,000 were injured! Unfortunately, nearly half of children killed in crashes are found to be unrestrained. For a child safety seat to do its job right, it has to be: appropriate for your child’s age and size, installed properly in your vehicle; and adjusted to fit your child securely.

Parents are reminded to keep children rear-facing until age two or until the limit of their rear-facing convertible seat, which is usually 35 pounds or more. Also, children should stay in a 5-point harness system until they are mature enough to ride in a booster seat. Booster seats are for children who are at least age four and 40 pounds or more. Finally, keep children in a booster seat until the seat belt fits correctly. This is usually sometime between ages 8 and 12 years old when the child is 4’9" tall. The average child reaches 4’9" at age 11.

If you’re a parent or caregiver, don’t miss this opportunity to have a free child safety seat inspection by a certified child passenger safety technician. Technicians can provide handson advice and instruction. Make sure your children are safe and you are in compliance with the current child safety seat law in Texas. The law requires all children under 8, unless taller than 4’9", to be in a child safety seat system which includes traditional child safety seats with harnesses and booster seats. All child passengers under age 13 should ride securely restrained in the back seat, where they are safest — every trip, every time.

For additional information, contact Tonya Poncik, County Extension Agent, Family Consumer Sciences, Lee County at (979)542-2753 or visit the Texas AgriLife Extension Service office at 310 S. Grimes Street in Giddings.

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