Did you know that car crashes are a leading cause of death among children? It’s a somber and sobering fact, but we know that parents across the globe want to do their best to keep their kids safe.
September 23-29 is Child Passenger Safety Week and the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) is coordinating efforts to increase proper safety seat usage. If you haven’t had your child’s safety seat inspected by a professional to ensure it’s properly installed, schedule a FREE Safety Check ASAP and make sure your little ones are buckled up correctly!
Having a properly installed child safety seat is one of the best ways you can decrease the chances of a car crash resulting in a serious injury or worse. That’s why TxDOT’s “Save Me With a Seat” campaign is reminding parents they offer free safety seat and booster seat checks for every child year-round by appointment.
CHILD SAFETY SEATS SAVE LIVES
Children are more likely to be injured or killed in a crash if they aren’t properly secured in a safety seat. Even if you use a safety seat for your child, chances are it isn’t properly installed. Child safety seats have weight and height requirements, should be rear-facing as long as possible, and even have an expiration date! (Yes, an expiration date, seriously!) Common safety seat mistakes include twisted straps, placing the harness buckle too low, and failing to select a seat appropriate for a child’s age, height, and weight. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration finds that 2 out of 3 safety seats are not installed or used correctly—that’s the majority!
Did you know that TxDOT recommends all children under age 13 ride in the back seat? Even if they’re no longer using a booster! Last year, 408 children younger than 8 years old were seriously injured and 73 died in car crashes—that’s just in Texas. Thirty children ages 8 to 12 also were killed in crashes in 2017. Children are required to use a safety seat or booster until they are 8 years old UNLESS they’re taller than 4’9.″Infants and toddlers should ride rear-facing until they reach the highest weight or height allowed by the manufacturer. So read those safety seat manuals!
WHY YOU NEED A SAFETY CHECK
Child safety seat manuals should be read front to back, but even if you do, it’s a great idea to get the seat checked by a professional. “As new models come about, there are different techniques and different ways to securing this, but not only that, a seat that is not properly secure is not doing its job and will not be able to save a child’s life,” Says Octavio Saenz, a TxDOT representative. Drivers should consult their safety seat manual as well as their vehicle owner’s manual. Then get a free safety check to make sure they understood the directions.
GET YOUR FREE SAFETY CHECK
To schedule your free TxDOT safety seat check, call and make an appointment with any of the agency’s 25 statewide district offices. Go to SaveMeWithaSeat.org to find a TxDOT office near you.
Safety checks only take about 20-30 minutes, and then you’re all set with safely installed and properly fitting safety seats. Use that time to ask questions and involve your child in doing what’s right for their best interest.
Visit SaveMeWithaSeat.org to get the most up-to-date information about using child safety seats and avoiding common mistakes. Be sure all children riding with you are always properly buckled up!
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