Parents: check your child’s car seat

Written by Nicholas Serrano. Posted in Health & Wellness

Published on September 21, 2011 with No Comments

In an effort to keep children safe on Hoosier roadways, the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute’s (ICJI) Traffic Safety division is asking parents and caregivers to have their child’s safety seat inspected during National Child Passenger Safety Week, which ends Saturday, Sept. 24.

Of the more than 4,300 children killed or injured in Indiana motor vehicle collisions last year, most were either unrestrained or improperly restrained. While most parents understand the importance of using car seats, few know how to properly select or install the safety devices. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), a properly installed car seat can reduce a child’s risk of injury in a motor vehicle collision by up to 70 percent.

“Simply having a car seat in your vehicle isn’t enough,” said ICJI Traffic Safety Division Director, Ryan Klitzsch. “If the device is installed improperly, it may not protect children the way it was designed to,” he continued. “Anyone who transports a child in their vehicle should take this week to have their car seats inspected by a certified technician – because when it comes to the safety of children, there’s no room for mistakes.”

Parents should also keep in mind that child safety seats aren’t just for infants and toddlers.

Although their bodies are larger, older children are just as susceptible to injury and should be fitted for an appropriate safety device. In fact, the largest proportion of serious injuries among child passengers in Indiana last year occurred among 8 to 15 year olds.

To help keep young Hoosiers safe in cars, always remember:

Choose a car seat based on 1) their child’s age and size and; 2) the size of their vehicle; refer to the car seat manufacturer’s instructions and your vehicle owner’s manual on how to properly install your seat; keep your child using a car seat for as long as possible. As long as they don’t exceed the height and weight requirements of that seat, it is the safest way for them to travel; and seat children ages 12 and under in the back seat.

More than 20 seat check clinics have been planned across Indiana for National Child Passenger Safety Week, all of which are free. For a listing of those events, go to or call 1-800-KID-N-CAR.

To learn more about National Child Passenger Safety Week, download car seat recommendations, or find a permanent fitting station in your area, visit

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