The New York State Police along with our law enforcement partners, the Onondaga County Sheriff’s Office, and Camillus Police Department announced today that certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians will be offering free car seat safety checks and education to parents and caregivers on Saturday, September 25, 2021, beginning at 10:00 a.m. at the Walmart Supercenter in Camillus. The Saturday event is part of Child Passenger Safety Week, which runs Sept. 19-25, and will include instruction on how to install and use car seats correctly. Technicians will also help determine if your child is in the right seat for their age and size, and explain the importance of registering car seats with their manufacturers so parents and caregivers can be notified if there is a recall.
Motor vehicle crashes are a leading killer of children, and the latest research from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows that nearly half (46%) of car seats are misused.
From 2015 to 2019, there were 1,709 “tweens” (8 to 14 years old) killed in passenger vehicles, and in 2019 alone, the 8-12-year-old age group had the highest number of fatalities (229) among children in passenger vehicles. It is critical that parents and caregivers ensure that, if a child is too large or old for a car seat, they are first put into a booster seat until a seat belt can fit correctly.
Car Seats versus Booster Seats
There is also a deadly misconception that a certain type of vehicle may offer greater protection for your child. In 2019, 47% of unrestrained children killed in vehicle crashes were riding in vans, followed closely by SUVs (42%), and light trucks (42%). Children are safest when correctly secured in the right car seats or booster seats for their ages and sizes — no matter the vehicle type. No matter how safe you think your vehicle may be, it is never safe, nor legal, to let your child ride unbuckled.
NHTSA recommends keeping children rear-facing as long as possible, up to the top height and weight allowed by their particular seats. It’s the best way to keep them safe. Once a child outgrows the rear-facing car seat, he or she is ready to travel in a forward-facing car seat with a harness and tether. After outgrowing the forward-facing car seat, a child should be placed in a booster seat until tall enough to fit in a seat belt properly.
Booster seats are an essential step between car seats and seat belts. These transitional seats position the seat belt so that it fits properly over the stronger parts of your child’s body. Don’t feel pressured to put your child in a seat belt too soon. If your child is ready to use a seat belt, ensure the seat belt fits correctly. Bottom line: The safest place for all kids under 13 is buckled up in the back seat.
Learn About Car Seat Safety
A Car Seat Check Event is being held at the Walmart Supercenter located at 5399 W. Genesee Street in Camillus from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Parents and caregivers are invited to attend this free event.
While the COVID-19 pandemic may change the availability of the certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians, these men and women will explain how to use car seats, booster seats, and seat belts correctly. Free of charge, the technicians will help educate consumers on choosing the correct car seat, installing that seat correctly, and using that seat correctly every time.
For more information on child car seat safety, as well as how to find other car seat check events, go to www.nhtsa.gov/therightseat.