Sept 15 – 21, 2013 is Child Passenger Safety Week and Saturday Sept 21, 2013 is National Seat Check Saturday. Car crashes are a leading cause of death for children 1 to 13 years old. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that three out of four parents do not properly use child restraints – and in 2011, more than a third of children under age 13 who died in passenger vehicle crashes in 2011 were not in car seats or wearing seat belts. Yet research shows that proper use of seats and belts saves lives.
Parents Central offers an interactive guide to finding the right child car safety seat, as well as instructions for properly installing the seat.
Here are some other great tools for parents:
Child car seat inspection station locator – Find a child car seat inspection station nearest you – certified technicians will inspect your child car seat,
in most cases, free of charge – and show you how to correctly install and use it. Search by zip code
Register for recall notices – To ensure you are notified in the event of a recall, be sure to register your car seat.
Child Passenger Safety Laws – Not only is it essential to keep kids safe, it’s also the law. First offense fines for not complying with a state’s child passenger safety laws vary from $10 to $500. Some states also use driver’s license points as an additional penalty for noncompliance. All 50 states require child safety seats for infants and children fitting specific criteria, and all but two states require booster seats or other appropriate devices for children who have outgrown their child safety seats but are still too small to use an adult seat belt safely.
Consumer Reports offers tips on keeping children safe in cars and is also an excellent source of safety seats and booster seat ratings.