Altus - Altus Fire/Rescue and Jackson County Health Department today announced it will conduct a “National Seat Check Saturday” event on Sept. 22 at the Altus Community Center. Certified child passenger safety technicians will be on hand from 9 am to 12 pm to check car seats for proper installation and advise parents and caregivers how to choose the right car seats and install them properly in their vehicles. The event, part of Altus’s participation in Child Passenger Safety Week (Sept. 16-22), is free to the public.
Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for children ages one to 13. Crash data from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for 2010 shows that about 2 children 12 or younger were killed and 325 were injured each day in passenger vehicles.
“You can never predict or control what other drivers might do or how the weather might change the safety of a roadway,” says Altus Fire/Rescue Fire Chief Jerry Abbott. “The best way to protect your kids is to put them in the right car seats for their age and size and use those seats correctly on every trip, every time. By attending the car seat event on National Seat Check Saturday, parents and caregivers can be sure their kids are riding as safely as possible.” He also urged parents to follow NHTSA’s car seat recommendations that recommend parents and caregivers keep children in their restraint types for as long as possible according to manufacturer instructions before moving them to the next type.
For maximum safety, a parent or caregiver should have the car seat installation inspected by a certified Child Passenger Safety Technician to ensure their children are in the right seats for their age and size. Children 12 and under should always ride in the back seat. Birth – 12 months For the best possible protection, your child under age one should always ride in a rear-facing car seat.
There are different types of rear-facing car seats: infant-only seats can only be used rear-facing. Convertible and 3-in-1 car seats typically have higher height and weight limits for the rear-facing position, allowing you to keep your child rear-facing for a longer period of time.
One to 3 years: Your child should remain in a rear-facing car seat until the child reaches the top height or weight limit allowed by your car seat’s manufacturer. This may result in many children riding rear-facing to age 2 or older.Once your child outgrows the rear-facing car seat, your child is ready to travel in a forward-facing car seat with a harness.
Four to 7 years: Keep your child in a forward-facing car seat with a harness until the child reaches the top height or weight limit allowed by your car seat’s manufacturer. Once your child outgrows the forward-facing car seat with a harness, it’s time to travel in a booster seat, but still in the back seat.
8 – 12 years: Keep your child in a booster seat until the child is big enough to fit in a seat belt properly. For a seat belt to fit properly the lap belt must lie snugly across the upper thighs, not the stomach. The shoulder belt should lie snug across the shoulder and chest and not cross the neck or face.
Remember: Select a car seat based on your child’s age and size, choose a seat that fits in your vehicle, and use it on every trip, every time. Always refer to your specific car seat manufacturer’s instructions; read the vehicle owner’s manual on how to install the car seat using the seat belt or LATCH system; and check height and weight limits. To maximize safety, keep your child in the car seat for as long as possible, as long as the child fits within the manufacturer’s height and weight requirements. Keep your child in the back seat at least through age 12.
For more information on car seat, safety, Child Passenger Safety Week or event details, contact Altus Fire Rescue at 580-481-3517 or Jackson County Health Department at 580-482-7308.