Centralia & Mt. Vernon, IL – St. Mary’s Good Samaritan today announced it will conduct a “National Seat Check Saturday” event on September 21, 2013 at Kaskaskia College at 27210 College Street in Centralia, IL and also at the Kroger Parking Lot off of 42nd Street in Mt. Vernon. Certified child passenger safety technicians will be on hand from 11:00am – 2:00pm in Centralia and 10:00am to 2:00pm in Mt. Vernon to check car seats for proper installation and advise parents and caregivers how to choose the right car seats and install them properly in their vehicles. The event, part of St. Mary’s Good Samaritan’s participation in National Child Passenger Safety Week (September 15-21, 2013), is free to the public. This event is one of 88 Illinois events sponsored by AAA, Illinois Secretary of State, Illinois Head Start Association and the Illinois Department of Transportation.
Motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death for children ages 1 to 13. Crash data from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that during the five-year period from 2007 to 2011, 3,661 children were killed in car crashes. In addition, an estimated 634,000 children were injured, more than the population of Boston, MA.
“Children depend on their parents to keep them safe – every trip, every time,” said Pat Baker, RN. “By attending St. Mary’s Good Samaritan’s car seat event on September 21, 2013, parents and caregivers can be sure their kids are riding as safely as possible in their vehicle, because there is no room for misuse.” Also, Stacy Minor, RN added, even if kids are in the right seat, sometimes they are not buckled in properly. And even worse, some are not buckled in at all: in 2011, 36 percent of children under 13 in cars, SUVs, vans and pickups who died in crashes were not restrained at the time of the crashes.
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 maximum child passenger safety, parents and caregivers should visit their local inspection station to ensure their child’s car seat is used properly:
- Rear-Facing Seats: In the back seat from birth to the height and weight limit of the seat. Recommended up to two years old, but at a minimum age one and 20 pounds.
- Forward-Facing Seats: In the back seat when the child has reached the height or weight limit of the rear-facing seat to about age four and 40-65 pounds.
- Booster Seats: In the back seat from about age four to at least age eight.
- Seat Belts: At age eight and older and taller than 4’9’’.
Remember: All children younger than 13 should ride in the back seat.
As of January 1, 2012, seat belt use is required in all seating positions.