Mangano: Free Car Seat Safety Inspections
In recognition of National Child Passenger Safety Week, Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano is urging all parents and caregivers to have their children’s car seats inspected this Saturday, September 22, 2012. Nassau County Traffic Safety will partner with the Education and Assistance Corporation (EAC) to inspect car seats and provide free hands-on advice from 10:00am to 1:00pm at Millennium Honda, located at 286 North Franklin Street in Hempstead. Parents are encouraged to call (516) 571-9664 to make an appointment.
County Executive Mangano stated, “We must do all we can to protect our children when traveling. The proper installation of a child’s car seat is critical to ensuring safety in a vehicle. During Child Passenger Safety Week, I urge all parents and caregivers to take part in this free program. When it comes to the safety of your child, there is no room for mistakes. Take this opportunity to let a professional make sure your child seat is safely installed in your vehicle.”
County Executive Mangano noted that the County’s efforts to make sure child seats are safe are not limited to Child Passenger Safety Week. Nassau County Traffic Safety offers this service year-round by appointment at the Nassau County Fitting Station in Hicksville. To make an appointment with the Nassau County Child Passenger Safety Fitting Station, please call Nassau County Traffic Safety at 571-9664.
Since August of 2010, the Nassau County Child Passenger Safety Fitting Station has provided more than 2,000 families with free car seat inspections.
In motor vehicle crashes, car seats reduce the risk of fatal injury by 71 percent for children younger than 1 and by 54 percent for children 1 to 4 in passenger cars, according to data collected by NHTSA. In 2009 alone, 754 children 12 or younger were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes while riding in passenger cars or light trucks. And among those who were fatally injured where restraint use was known, 42 percent were unrestrained. Many of these tragedies could have been prevented if the children were in the right restraint for their age and size.
The NHTSA recommendations emphasize how important it is to keep children in each restraint type for as long as possible before moving them to the next type. While New York State Law requires children to ride in a federally approved child safety seat, for maximum child passenger safety, parents and caregivers should visit their local inspection station to ensure their children’s car seats are used properly:
Birth – 24 months
For the best possible protection, your child under age 2 should always ride in a rear-facing car seat. There are different types of rear-facing car seats: infant-only seats can only be used rear-facing. Convertible and 3-in-1 car seats typically have higher height and weight limits for the rear-facing position, allowing you to keep your child rear-facing for a longer period of time.
2 – 4 years
Your child should remain in a rear-facing car seat until he or she reaches the top height or weight limit allowed by your car seat’s manufacturer. This may result in many children riding rear-facing to age 2 or older. Once your child outgrows the rear-facing car seat, your child is ready to travel in a forward-facing car seat with a harness.
4 – 7 years
Keep your child in a forward-facing car seat with a harness until he or she reaches the top height or weight limit allowed by your car seat’s manufacturer. Once your child outgrows the forward-facing car seat with a harness, it’s time to travel in a booster seat, but still in the back seat.
8 – 12 years
Keep your child in a booster seat until he or she is big enough to fit in a seat belt properly. For a seat belt to fit properly the lap belt must lie snugly across the upper thighs, not the stomach. The shoulder belt should lie snugly across the shoulder and chest and not cross the neck or face.
- Select a car seat based on your child’s age and size, and choose a seat that fits in your vehicle and use it every time.
- Always refer to your specific car seat manufacturer’s instructions; read the vehicle owner’s manual on how to install the car seat using the seat belt or LATCH system; and check height and weight limits.
- To maximize safety, keep your child in the car seat for as long as possible, as long as the child fits within the manufacturer’s height and weight requirements.
- Keep your child in the back seat at least through age 12.