February 11-17 is Child Passenger Safety Week
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), approximately 7,500 lives have been saved by the proper use of child restraints during the past 20 years. Yet, motor vehicle crashes still remain the number one killer of children ages 4 to 14 in America. The reason? Too often it is the improper use or non-use of child safety seats and booster seats.
That's why the BuckleUpBoston! and Safe Kids Greater Boston coalitions, led by the Boston Public Health Commission, are joining together to commemorate Child Passenger Safety Week (Feb. 11-17).
A minor crash or even a sudden stop can seriously injure a child who is not riding in the correct restraint. "As children grow, how they need to be secured in a motor vehicle changes," said Erin Christiansen, director of the Boston Public Health Commission's Childhood Injury Prevention Program. Only 10 to 20 percent of children who should be using booster seats to protect them are actually in them. Once children outgrow their child safety seats, they need to ride in a booster seat until they reach four feet nine inches tall. Most children reach this height between the ages 8-12.
"Children in this age group are among the least likely to be in the correct restraint to prevent injury. We need to make booster seat use among tweens just as automatic as it is for small children to ride in car seats," said Christiansen. BuckleUpBoston! is partnering with the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority to coordinate the distribution of 50,000 tip cards with child passenger safety information. Toll collectors at the
entrance to the Sumner Tunnel will hand the cards to passing motorists throughout the week.
Parents and caregivers who would like to ensure that they are using the right size child safety seats and they are installed properly can call the Mayor