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Flagstaff, AZ – During the week of September 20-26, 2020 the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office will be participating in Child Passenger Safety Week.
During this week, the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office will be conducting a focused patrol for Child Passenger Safety Seat violations as well as providing educational information. We are conducting this in conjunction with other law enforcement agencies nationwide, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and the Arizona Governor’s Office of Highway Safety (AZGOHS). Our goal is to raise awareness of the importance of not only utilizing Child Passenger Safety Seats, but also proper installation and application. We will do this both through education and enforcement.
Every day in America, millions of parents and caregivers travel with children in their vehicles. While some children are buckled in properly in the correct car seats for their ages and sizes, many are not. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), nearly half (46%) of car seats are misused. To help address this issue, NHTSA is sponsoring Child Passenger Safety Week from September 20-26, 2020. The campaign is dedicated to helping parents and caregivers make sure their children ride as safely as possible - every trip, every time.
According to NHTSA statistics, every 32 seconds in 2018, a child under 13 was involved in a passenger vehicle crash. Using car seats that are age- and size-appropriate is the best way to keep children safe. According to NHTSA, motor vehicle crashes are a leading killer of children, and while fatalities declined from 2017 to 2018, there is still work to be done to completely eliminate these preventable tragedies. Car seats, booster seats, and seat belts can make all the difference. In 2017, there were 312 children under the age of 5 saved because of appropriate use of car seats.
Too often, parents move their children to the front seat before they should, which increases the risk of injury and death, even if that child is buckled up. The safest place for all kids under 13 is in the back seat. NHTSA reported that in 2015, about 25.8% of children ages 4 to 7 who should have been riding in booster seats were prematurely moved to seat belts, and 11.6% were unbuckled altogether.
As parents and caregivers, we have a long list of things we do for our children to show our love. One of the simplest and most important things on the list should be to make sure kids are in the right car seat for their age and size. It is important to get your car seats checked. Make sure they are installed correctly, and that your kids are in the right seats and are buckled in correctly. Even if you think your child’s car seat is installed correctly, get it checked by a certified Child Passenger Safety Technician, so you can be sure that your child is the safest he or she can be while traveling.
NHTSA recommends keeping children rear-facing as long as possible, up to the top height or weight allowed by their particular seats. Once a child outgrows the rear-facing-only “infant” car seat, he/she should travel in a rear-facing “convertible” or all-in-one car seat. Once your child outgrows the rear-facing size limits, the child is ready to travel in a forward-facing car seat with a harness (always use the tether). After outgrowing the forward-facing car seat with harness, children should be placed in booster seats until they are the right size to use seat belts safely. Children under 13 should always sit in the back seat.
Remember to register your car seat or booster seat with the seat manufacturer so you can be notified in the event of a recall. Parents and caregivers can view more information on car seat safety and locate a certified technician at www.nhtsa.gov/therightseat.
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