National Child Passenger Safety Week is Sept. 15-21. The Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety wants to ensure all caregivers of young children know the importance of buckling children in an appropriate child restraint. Motorists can also expect increased enforcement of Missouri’s child seat safety laws during this campaign.
Locally, Lincoln County Health Department will be having a car seat check station at the Lincoln County Fire Protection District 1 on Cherry St. from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on Tuesday Sept. 17.
In 2012, nine children in Missouri under age eight were killed and 92 suffered serious injuries as occupants in motor vehicle crashes in Missouri. Missouri law requires all children under eight to be in an appropriate child safety seat or booster seat, unless:
• They are at least 80 pounds.
• They are at least 4’9” tall.
“All parents and caregivers need to understand the importance of booster seats. It’s not just about following the law – booster seats help prevent serious injury and may even save your child’s life,” said Leanna Depue, chair of the executive committee for the coalition.
When used correctly, child safety seats are 71 percent effective in preventing fatalities for infants and 54 percent effective for toddlers. Serious injuries can result from improperly fitted safety belts, particularly for children ages four through seven who are secured only in a regular safety belt during a crash. These injuries are commonly known as “seat belt syndrome,” which are often life-threatening or disabling. Booster seats help prevent this syndrome from occurring by raising the child up so the lap and shoulder belt fits them properly.
Child safety seat technicians will provide education and car seat inspections at locations across Missouri. A list of car seat inspection stations and locations can be found at seatcheck.org. Appointments may be necessary.
“We are urging everyone to get their child safety seats inspected,” said Depue. “When it comes to the safety of a child, there is no room for mistakes.”
For more information on Child Passenger Safety Week, visit saveMOlives.com.