Child Passenger Safety Week is Feb. 12–18 and Safe and Sound, an affiliate of SAFE KIDS Worldwide, will host car seat inspections at three convenient locations around the Chattanooga area.
Saturday, Feb. 11, from 12–4 p.m. at Babies R Us
Thursday, Feb. 16, from 11 a.m.–1 p.m. at Safe and Sound on the Erlanger Baroness Campus
Friday, Feb. 17, from 11 a.m.–3 p.m. at Herb Adcox Chevrolet
Technicians will teach parents how to select, install and adjust car seats for younger kids and to conduct the Safety Belt Fit Test to determine whether older kids are big enough to graduate from a booster to an adult safety belt. With this simple test, also available online at www.usa.safekids.org, parents can see for themselves whether the adult safety belt provides enough protection to a growing child, it was stated.
According to the National Safe Kids Coalition studies, motor vehicle crashes remain the leading cause of unintentional injury-related death for children ages 14 and under. In 2004, 82 patients with injuries from motor vehicle crashes were brought to T.C. Thompson Children’s Hospital; only 47 percent of these young patients had been properly restrained.
“Child passenger safety is not just about babies and toddlers,” said Becky Campbell, Safe and Sound program coordinator. “It’s a commitment that lasts as long as childhood. Too many kids move from a booster seat to a safety belt before they’re big enough.”
Babies ride in safety restraints more than 90 percent of the time, but children ages four to seven ride in safety restraints only 73 percent of the time. “That’s an alarming difference, and it shows that many parents and caregivers are unaware of the importance of booster seats,” said Mrs. Campbell.
Kids who have outgrown car seats, usually at 40 pounds, are safest and most comfortable in a booster seat until they are 4’9” and 80 to 100 pounds – a height and weight most kids reach between ages 8-12.
SAFE KIDS Chattanooga is part of the National SAFE KIDS Campaign, the first and only national nonprofit organization dedicated solely to the prevention of unintentional childhood injury – the number one killer of children ages 14 and under. SAFE KIDS Chattanooga is based within T.C. Thompson Children’s Hospital’s Safe and Sound department, a prevention service that provides a positive, healthy direction for today’s families with children school aged and younger.