Check your child’s car seat during Child Passenger Safety Week

National Child Passenger Safety Week recognizes importance of safely transporting precious cargo

National Child Passenger Safety Week is Sept. 17-23. The Madison County Health Department, Madison County Sheriff’s Office, and the New York State Police are holding a child safety seat check Tuesday, Sept. 19, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at Tops parking lot located at 3400 Seneca Turnpike in Canastota.

If you are planning to attend, please make sure that you have installed the car seat in your vehicle. That way, staff can check for errors and teach you how to make any corrections. While seats may be checked without the child present, bring the child with you if possible, so that staff can show you how the child should properly fit in the car seat. No appointment is necessary.

A few quick reminders:

  • Children are required by New York State law to ride in an appropriate child safety seat in passenger vehicles until their eighth birthday.
  • It is recommended that a child ride in a belt-positioning booster seat until they can properly fit in the seat belt, which is usually 4’9” tall and 100 pounds. So even after a child turns 8 years old, it is often appropriate and safest to keep them in a belt-positioning booster seat. Some children benefit from a booster seat until they are 12 years old, depending on their size.
  • Do not use a child safety seat that you do not know the history of, such as buying a used seat at a garage sale, or a seat that is more than 6 years old.

Car crashes are a leading cause of death for children 1 to 13 years old. Many deaths and injuries can be prevented by proper use of car seats, boosters and seat belts. It is important to place the car seat or booster seat in an appropriate location in the vehicle. For all children under the age of 13, the back seat is the safest place for them to ride. They are better protected from head-on collisions, which make up about 60 percent of all crashes. In addition, they are not at risk for being injured by the passenger air bag, which is designed to protect adults.

The middle seat in the back is often referred to as the ‘best’ seat for car seats because of the protection from side impact crashes, but any back seat position is a preferred location to install car seats. Also consider the needs of your family; for example, if you often park on a busy street, place your child’s car seat on the curb side as opposed to the street side for optimal protection for you and your child when getting in and out of the vehicle.

Call the Madison County Health Department at 315-366-2361 with any questions.

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