Child Passenger Safety Week is Sept. 14-20, and Sept. 20 is National Seat Check Saturday, a day when local child safety seat checks will take place across the state.
To find a seat check event near you, visit the Virginia Department of Health’s website at www.vdh.virginia.gov/ofhs/prevention/cps/permanent.htm.
Car crashes are the No. 1 killer of children younger than 12 in the United States. The best safety strategy is to put a child in the right seat, at the right time, and use it the right way.
“Parents and caregivers should purchase and install the right seat for a child’s age and weight,” said Kevin Bartal, Virginia Farm Bureau safety coordinator and a certified safety seat technician. “If you’re not sure about which seat is the right seat, check with a car seat installer. The right car seat or booster seat will fit your child and your car and is one you will use correctly every time you travel.”
Children should be secured in the back seat in a rear-facing child seat for as long as possible. Refer to a child seat owner’s manual for height and weight limitations.
Once your child reaches the height or weight limit for a rear-facing seat, use a seat that utilizes a five-point safety harness for as long as possible. Again, always refer to the owner’s manual for height and weight limitations, and contact a child passenger safety technician to address any questions or concerns.
“It only takes about 20 minutes to have a nationally certified safety seat technician check your child’s safety seat,” said Tobey Allen, VDH safety seat check coordinator. “Make an appointment today, or visit a child safety seat check location near you to make sure your child is riding safely.”
For more information on child car safety, visit safercar.gov/parents/carseats.htm.