It’s National Child Passenger Safety Week

Child Safety_SP_C10-02Ford Motor Company is supporting National Child Passenger Safety Week (Sept. 14-20) with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the U.S. Department of Transportation in an effort to promote vehicle safety for children.

In 2012 on average, nearly 2 children under the age of 13 were killed and 332 were injured EVERY DAY while riding in cars, SUVs, pickups, and vans.

The infographic at below offers tips on choosing the right seat for your child’s needs.

NHTSA-2014-CPSWeek-Infographic-prMy child is 7, and is in a 5-point booster (and will stay there until he is the weight/age to graduate to sitting without one. I, for one, don’t want to rush it. Knowing every 34 seconds a child under age 13 is involved in a crash,and knowing that many accidents happen just a short drive from home, I ensure my little guy is buckled in. (For the record, I do hear “But Mom, other kids my age are already riding without one”; “Do I HAVE to?”; and the ever popular “We’re not going to get in an accident. Why do you worry so much?”)

Why is it important to me?  Here are a few additional statistics:

  •  Car crashes are a leading cause of death for children 1 to 13 years old.
  •  In 2012, over one third (37 percent) of children killed in car crashes were unrestrained.
  •  In 2012, among children under the age of 5 in cars, an estimated 284 lives were saved by child restraints.
  •  An additional 58 children could have lived if child restraint use was 100 percent.Child Safety_SP_C10-01
  • Child restraints reduce the risk of fatal injury by 71 percent for infants and by 54 percent for toddlers in cars.

Children should always be properly restrained with an appropriate restraint system for their age and size, utilizing a child restraint that is either rear-facing, forward-facing, a belt positioning booster or safety belt. Not sure if yours is secure?

In conjunction with National Child Passenger Safety Week, this Saturday is also National Seat Check Saturday. You can visit this website to find an inspection station near you.

When my son was a baby, I took him to a police station that was running car seat inspections, pretty sure I’d done a bang-up job tightening the unit into my car because I pulled the seat belt as tight as I possibly could. Sure, it wiggled a “little” when I moved the upper part of it, but it’s impossible to remove “all” give, I naively thought.

When the officer was done, the seat was rock-solid in my back seat. No wiggle. No WAY I could get my hand behind it. After all I learned that day I determined that if I couldn’t get subsequent seats in as snugly as the officer had, I’d seek out an inspection site for assistance.

Did you know?

  • The American Academy of Pediatrics advises parents to keep their toddlers in rear-facing child restraints until age 2 or until they reach the maximum height and weight for their seat.
  • Children who have outgrown a rear-facing child restraint should be properly restrained in a forward-facing child restraint until they reach its maximum weight or height limit.

I’ve been in a number of accidents in my life (each one an incident where someone hit me). While I am a positive person and try to look on the bright side, it’s unrealistic to assume that just because you are a safe driver that those around you will be just as careful, vigilant, sober.

Join in on the conversation: If you’re on social media, post a photo yourself securing your children or showing how you follow proper passenger seat safety on Saturday. Post it to Facebook, Twitter and/or Instagram with the hashtag #SeatCheckSaturday at @Ford_Southeast.

Look for our photo of our 5-point booster this weekend. Just ignore the pile of books and the scattering of LEGOs cluttering up the seat next to it. No judging.

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