Southlake’s Department of Public Safety is urging parents and caregivers to have their children’s car seats inspected during Child Passenger Safety Week which runs from September 18th—24th. A certified child passenger safety technician from Southlake DPS will be available to assist you with the installation of your car seat, a service that we provide year round.
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently released updated car seat recommendations for children through age 12. “We want to help drivers ensure the safety of their families while on the road. Having the right child safety seat, secured in the right position, will help save lives,” said Sgt. Mike Bedrich.
Car seats reduce the risk of fatal injury by 71 percent for children younger than age one and by 54 percent for children ages one to four in passenger cars, according to data collected by NHTSA. In 2009 alone, more than 750 children, ages two or younger, were killed in motor vehicle crashes while riding in passenger cars or light trucks. Among those who were fatally injured, where restraint use was known, 42 percent were unrestrained.
If you would like to make sure you have the right car seat for your child, and that the seat is properly installed, please contact our Child Passenger Safety Technician, Renni Burt at 817-748-8349 to schedule a car seat check. Or you can just drop by our DPS west location on Wednesday, September 21st from 7:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. for a car safety seat check. DPS west is located at 2100 West Southlake Blvd.
The updated recommendations emphasize how important it is to keep children in each restraint type for as long as possible before moving them to the next type.
For the best possible protection, a 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.
1 – 3 years
Your child should remain in a rear-facing car seat until he or she reaches the top height or weight limit allowed by your car seat’s manufacturer. This may result in many children riding rear-facing until age two 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.
4 – 7 years
Keep your child in a forward-facing car seat with a harness until he or she 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 he or she 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 snugly across the shoulder and chest and not cross the neck or face.
For additional information on Child Passenger Safety Week visit www.nhtsa.gov.