SPRINGFIELD—Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for children under age 14, due in large part to the non-use and improper use of child safety seats and seat belts.
To educate parents and caregivers about how to properly secure children in a motor vehicle, AAA New Jersey is offering free child safety seat checks on Saturday, Sept. 12, from 9 a.m. – noon at the AAA Car Care Center in Springfield (135 Route 22 East). The event is part of the nationwide “Seat Check Saturday” initiative, which kicks off National Child Passenger Safety Week (Sept. 12 – 18).
Nationally certified child passenger safety technicians will be on hand to check child safety seats and educate parents and caregivers about proper installation and use.
“Parents and caregivers need to make sure their children are safely and securely restrained – every trip, every time,” said Michele Mount, director of public affairs for AAA New Jersey and president of the National Child Passenger Safety Board. “AAA urges everyone to get their child safety seats inspected.”
In 2007, an estimated 358 children under age 5 were saved by the use of properly installed child safety seats and booster seats. If all children under age 5 were restrained, an additional 71 lives would have been saved.
AAA urges proper restraints for all vehicle occupants and recommends adhering to these simple guidelines for determining the appropriate child restraint:
• Rear Facing Seats in the back seat from birth to at least age 1 and minimum of 20 pounds. It’s safest to keep the baby in the rear-facing position as long as possible to the upper size limits (height and weight) of the seat.
• Forward-Facing Toddler Seats in the back seat from age 1 to about age 4. It’s safety to keep your child in a five-point harness as long as possible to the upper size (height and weight) limits of the seat.
• Booster Seats in the back seat from about age 4 to at least age 8 unless your child is 4’9” tall.
• Seat Belts at age 8 and older or taller than 4’9”. The back seat is the safety place. Kids should ride in the back seat until they are at least 13 years of age.
For more information on child passenger safety, visit AAA.com/safeseats4kids or call AAA at 1-973-245-4860.
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