ALTOONA – Despite ongoing efforts to better protect child passengers in cars, motor vehicle crashes remain the number one cause of accidental injury-related death among children ages 14 and under.
In recognition of Child Passenger Safety Week 2007, February 11 through 17, Safe Kids Blair County will be calling attention to the need for correct booster seat use; helping parents and caregivers understand when it is safe for children to graduate to an adult-sized safety belt; and teaching children important messages to address safety both in and outside the vehicle.
Safe Kids Blair County has planned two car seat inspections in an effort to educate families about the importance of properly restraining their children on each and every ride.
On February 16, a child seat check will be held at Dean Patterson Chevrolet from 2 to 5 p.m. And on February 17, a child seat event will be held at Stocker Chevrolet in State College from 10-2 p.m. Parents and caregivers are encouraged to attend with their children, child seat and vehicles. Child safety seats and safety belts, when installed and used correctly, can prevent injuries and save lives.
The local events are part of Safe Kids USA and its nationwide coalition network, with the support of sponsors General Motors and Chevrolet. Organizers will be training parents and caregivers to install and adjust their car seats properly as well as holding educational events to teach children how to be safe in and around cars.
In 2003, motor vehicle crashes claimed more than 1,500 child passengers and resulted in an estimated 220,000 injuries; and children riding unrestrained are at the greatest risk for death and injury among child occupants of motor vehicles. Only 19 percent of children who should be restrained in belt-positioning booster seats actually use them.
Children can also be injured in non-traffic-related incidents in and around cars, such as being left unattended in a motor vehicle, being injured by a vehicle back-over; or being entrapped in car’s trunk.