Monday, September 21, 2020

CDOT: Child Passenger Safety Week highlights importance of properly securing children in vehicle

 car seats.jpg


Sept. 19, 2020

 

CONTACT

Sam Cole, CDOT Communications Manager
 303-859-1304 (cell) | 
sam.cole@state.co.us

Trooper Tim Sutherland, Colorado State Patrol
(303) 273-1918 (desk) | (303) 917-8679 | 
timothy.sutherland@state.co.us

 

Child Passenger Safety Week highlights importance of properly securing children in vehicle

More than half of all car seats are not used correctly


STATEWIDE — Every day in Colorado, parents and caregivers travel with children in their vehicles. While some children are buckled in properly — many are not, if they are buckled up at all. Car crashes are a leading cause of death in children under 13, but many of these tragedies can be prevented. This week is national Child Passenger Safety Week, and Car Seats Colorado is offering tips and reminding parents to make sure their children are riding safely at all times.

 

“Every 32 seconds, a child is involved in a car crash,” said Colorado State Patrol (CSP) Trooper Tim Sutherland, Child Passenger Safety Coordinator for Car Seats Colorado, a partnership between CSP and the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT). “This is exactly why parents need to be extra vigilant when it comes to car seat safety and protecting their children.”

 

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 59% of car seats are not used correctly, putting millions of children at severe risk of injury or death. Child Passenger Safety Week aims to raise awareness about child passenger safety laws and the importance of properly using car seats, booster seats and seat belts.

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Car Seats Colorado encourages parents and caregivers to have their car seat checked by a certified technician to ensure proper installation and fit. Car Seats Colorado has partnered with the Denver Department of Transportation and Infrastructure (DOTI) and Swedish Medical Center to host numerous virtual events offering opportunities for parents to learn more about proper car seat use. Visit Swedish Medical Center’s events calendar at https://swedishhospital.com/calendar to register.

 

"Our open Q&A and guided discussions about child passenger safety, hosted by certified car seat technicians, is an opportunity for parents to have all their questions answered, put their fears to rest and avoid mistakes that might endanger the safety of their child," said Swedish Medical Center Injury Prevention Coordinator, Melanie Wuzzardo.

 

You can also find a car seat inspection location near you that will inspect your car seat for free by visiting https://www.nhtsa.gov/equipment/car-seats-and-booster-seats#installation-help-inspection.

 

Factors contributing to improperly restrained children include:

·        an incorrectly installed car seat,

·        use of a car seat that does not fit the child based on their size and development,

·        not properly securing the harness or seat belt,

·        and moving a child out of a booster seat too soon.

 

In addition, too often, parents move their children to the front seat before they should, which increases the risk of injury and death, even if that child is buckled up.

 

NHTSA and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend keeping children rear-facing as long as possible, until they reach the maximum height or weight allowed by their particular seats. Once a child outgrows the rear-facing-only infant car seat, he/she should travel in a rear-facing “convertible” or all-in-one car seat. Once your child outgrows the rear-facing size limits, the child is ready to travel in a forward-facing car seat with a harness (always use the tether). After outgrowing the forward-facing car seat with harness, children should be placed in booster seats until they’re the right size to use seat belts safely. Children under 13 should always sit in the back seat.

 

“One of the simplest and most important things you can do to protect your kids is making sure they are in the right car seat for their size and development,” said Sam Cole, CDOT communications manager. “Get your car seats checked. Make sure they’re installed correctly, and that your kids are in the right seats and are buckled in correctly.”

 

During the week-long statewide Click It or Ticket enforcement period in July, 72 citations were issued to drivers with improperly restrained children. In Colorado, parents or caregivers caught with an improperly restrained child can receive a minimum fine of $82.

 

To help educate parents and raise awareness for the importance of car seat safety, Car Seats Colorado has launched a new statewide radio campaign and partnered with Bright by Text — a service that provides free tips and resources to thousands of Colorado parents via text message.  

 

“Our goal is to provide the tools and resources necessary to help educate parents on the laws and safety guidelines protecting their kids — because their lives depend on it,” said Cole. 

 

Car Seats Colorado is comprised of CSP, CDOT, local car seat technicians, law enforcement, emergency services and other professionals who are dedicated to implementing child passenger safety programs and encouraging parents to take the necessary steps to protect their children when in vehicles. Learn more about how to keep children safe in vehicles and download informational resources at CarSeatsColorado.com.

 

Calendar of virtual car seat safety events hosted by Swedish Medical Center and DOTI:

 

Child Passenger Safety Live Info Session

When: Thursday, Sept. 24

Time: 10-11a.m. Mountain Time

Where: Zoom: Meeting ID: 876 4978 7027     Passcode: 880983

 

 

Virtual Car Seat Safety Inspections

When: Thursday, Sept. 24

Time: 1-5 p.m. Mountain Time

Where: WebEx (register at https://swedishhospital.com/calendar)

 

Child Passenger Safety Live Info Session

When: Thursday, Sept. 24

Time: 6-7p.m. Mountain Time

Where: Zoom: Meeting ID: 839 8520 5926      Passcode: 390411

 

Child Passenger Safety Discussion

When: Saturday, Sept. 26

Time: 10-11a.m. Mountain Time

Where: WebEx: Access Code is 145 267 1184     Password: p4qMjHTP7h4

 

Virtual Car Seat Safety Inspections

When: Saturday, Sept. 26

Time: 10a.m.-5p.m. Mountain Time

Where: WebEx (register at https://swedishhospital.com/calendar)