During the week surrounding Valentine's Day, safety advocates promote child passenger safety.
Approximately 75-hundred young lives have been saved in the past 20 years, due to the proper use of child restraints. That's according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). But, Pam Moen of Triple-A Wisconsin says that could be better. "Motor vehicle crashes still remain the number one killer of children ages 4-14 in our country. And the main reason that that statistic lives on is that too many seats are being improperly used or too many people are not using child safety seats or booster seats at all."
Moen says most child safety seats come with pretty good instructions, but each seat is unique, as is each vehicle in which the seat is to be installed. So, Moen says that challenge makes the incidents of misused car seats overwhelmingly high. "The figures are something like 80-90% of child safety seats are not used properly and that's a tragic statistic."
Moen says the best and safest place for a child in a vehicle is in an appropriately-sized child safety seat installed in the rear. The seat needs to be attached tightly into the vehicle, and snug around the child. Moen says anyone with questions about installation or proper use of safety seats can contact a Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician in their area, including at Triple-A offices, hospitals, healthcare facilities, or check with NHSTA online. This week is Child Passenger Safety Week (February 12-18), with the focus on booster seats.
( Booster seat law ) (pdf).