Child Safety Passenger Week is Sept. 15th through 21st
As part of National Child Passenger Safety Week, which runs from September 15 through September 21, 2019, Lower Merion Township is reminding parents to be sure to use approved child safety seats and to use them properly. The campaign is dedicated to helping parents and caregivers make sure their children ride as safely as possible—every trip, every time. This year’s theme, “Click it Tight. It is Worth Their Life to do it Right” highlights the need for all children to buckle up using the right car seat, booster seat, or seat belt every time they travel.
Motor vehicle crashes remains the leading killer of children. Using a car seat that is age- and size-appropriate is the best way to keep a child safe. According to NHTSA, in 2017, 312 children under the age of 5 were saved because they were using restraints.
“Every 32 seconds in 2017, a child under 13 was involved in a vehicle crash,” said Lower Merion Deputy Fire Marshal Matt Maguire. “Car seats matter and having the right car seat installed and used the right way is critical.”
Parents who wear their seat belt are important role models for a child learning good habits in and around vehicles. Research shows that children are more likely to be buckled when the driver is buckled. That is why it is important, not only for a parent’s safety but for their children, that adults always wear their seat belt before putting the car into drive. Make certain that everyone in the car is protected, that every child is secured in the right car seat and that it is installed and used correctly.
NOTE: Deputy Fire Marshal Maguire and Lower Merion Police Officer Melanie Tammaro are both certified by Safe Kids Worldwide and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to help install child safety seats by appointment at the Township Administration Building. Call Fire Marshal Maguire at (610) 645-6190, or Officer Tammaro at (610) 645-6226 to make an appointment.
In Pennsylvania, the driver is responsible for securing children in the appropriate child restraint system. Children under the age of two must be secured in a rear-facing car seat, and children under the age of four must be restrained in an approved child safety seat. Children must ride in a booster seat until their eighth birthday. Pennsylvania law requires any occupant younger than 18 to buckle up when riding in a vehicle, as well as drivers and front-seat passengers. Additionally, all drivers under 18 years of age may not operate a motor vehicle in which the number of passengers exceeds the number of available seat belts in the vehicle.
For more information on how to keep passengers safe or if you are unable to afford a car seat, call 1-800-CAR-BELT or visit www.pakidstravelsafe.org to find the nearest car seat loan program. Child Safety Seat Inspection Stations and Community Car Seat Checkup Events are also provided on the website.