Study shows 46% of car seats are misused

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INDIANAPOLIS (WANE) – Child Passenger Safety Week takes place next week, and the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute (ICJI) is encouraging parents and caregivers to educate themselves on the importance of safety seats for children and take advantage of the state’s free inspection services and resources. .

Making sure children are in the correct car seat, and that it is used correctly and correctly, reduces the risk of serious injury and death in a crash, the ICJI said. Unfortunately, the latest research from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that 46% of car seats are misused.

Last year in Indiana, 17 children under the age of 13 were killed in passenger car crashes. Of those, more than two in three were not in a child restraint, booster seat or wearing a seat belt, according to the ICJI.

“Car crashes are one of the leading causes of death in children, but many of these deaths are preventable,” said Devon McDonald, Executive Director of ICJI. “I cannot stress enough the importance of making sure your children are properly secured in a vehicle. If you have any questions, we have technicians who can help you.

During Child Passenger Safety Week, free car seat clinics are held statewide, with the majority taking place on September 25, known as National Seat Check Saturday. The ICJI said parents and caregivers can have their car seats inspected, receive instructions on the correct installation, and have them installed by a certified car seat safety technician. They can also learn how to properly secure a child in the seat and check the seat for reminders.

Technicians are available by appointment year round at one of Indiana’s 100 assembly stations.

“Car and booster seats are the best defense for children in a crash, but only when used and installed correctly,” said Robert Duckworth, director of road safety for ICJI. “Last year, our safety technicians performed over 5,000 inspections and continue to be an important resource for parents and caregivers. “

Indiana law requires that all occupants and children be properly restrained in a vehicle. Children under the age of eight must be installed in a federally approved child or booster seat according to the manufacturer’s instructions. The ICJI said that ages eight to 16, children must be in a booster seat or wear a seat belt, depending on their height.

“Drivers are responsible and can be cited for every passenger under 16 who is not properly restrained,” ICJI said.

NHTSA recommends keeping children rearward-facing for as long as possible, up to the maximum height and weight allowed by their particular seats. Once a child outgrows the rear-facing car seat, they are ready to travel in a forward-facing car seat with a harness and tether. This car seat has grown too large, a child should be placed in a booster seat until it is large enough to properly fit a seat belt.

Booster seats are an essential step between car seats and seat belts, ICJI said. These transition seats position the seat belt so that it fits properly over the strongest parts of the child’s body.

“Parents and caregivers shouldn’t feel pressured into buckling their child on the seat belt too early. However, when that time comes it is important to make sure the seat belt is properly adjusted, ”said ICJI.

The safest place for all children under 13 is strapped in in the back seat.

Visit www.nhtsa.gov/TheRightSeat for more information on child seat safety.


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