Get Child Safety Seats Inspected
The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control will have certified technicians at the Chick-Fil-A on Bush River Road in Columbia this Saturday from noon until 2 p.m. checking car seats to mark “National Seat Check Saturday,” the agency announced today.
“It’s the responsibility of every parent and caregiver out there to make sure their children are safely restrained - every trip, every time,” said Neal Martin, manager of DHEC’s Child Passenger Safety program. “We encourage everyone to get their child safety seats inspected. When it comes to the safety of a child, there is no room for mistakes.”
According to Martin, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for children age 3 to 6, and 8 to 14. In 2007, more than 6,500 passengers under the age of 15 were involved in fatal crashes.
Martin said, in addition to noting that all children under the age of 13 should always ride in the back seat, parents and caregivers should refer to the following 4 Steps for Kids guidelines for determining which restraint system is best suited to protect children based on age and size:
1. For the best possible protection keep infants in the back seat, in rear-facing child safety seats, as long as possible, up to the height or weight limit of the particular seat. At a minimum, keep infants rear-facing until at least age 1, and at least 20 pounds.
2. When children outgrow their rear-facing seats, they should ride in forward-facing child safety seats, in the back seat, until they reach the upper weight or height limit of the particular seat (usually around age 4, and 40 pounds).
3. Once children outgrow their forward-facing seats, they should ride in booster seats, in the back seat, until the vehicle seat belts fit properly. Seat belts fit properly when the lap belt rests across the upper thighs and the shoulder belt fits across the chest (usually at age 8, or when they are 4’9” tall).
4. When children outgrow their booster seats, they can use the adult seat belts in the back seat, if they fit properly (lap belt rests across the upper thighs, and the shoulder belt fits across the chest).