February 11 to 17 is being observed as the Child Passenger Safety Week and in connection with this, the American Automobile Association (AAA) and the Minnesota Safety Council has teamed up to promote the importance of safely securing child passengers on their seats.
Their effort to educate parents on how to properly secure their most precious cargo is due to the fact that a large number of child passengers are not properly secured. This fact is one of the foremost reasons why automobile accidents are still the number one cause of death for children ages four to fourteen. In contrast to that however, for the past twenty years, 7,500 lives have been saved by properly installed child car seats.
In 2005 alone, an average of five children below 14 years old were killed in automobile accidents every day. Aside from that, 640 children were injured every day for that year. The figure is so alarming that the AAA Minnesota/Iowa will be working hard to educate parents and caregivers as well on how important is properly restraining a child to the toddler?s safety.
Gail Weinholzer, the director of public affairs for the AAA Minnesota/Iowa, stated that they will not only work hard during the Child Passenger Safety Week but throughout the year as well. The automobile lobby group has also teamed up with the Minnesota Safety Council to promote the new web site developed in cooperation with the Minnesota Department of Public Safety.
The main concern of the coalition is to increase the awareness of parents with children aged four through seven. This is due to the fact that of all the toddlers in the US only ten to twenty percent are not properly secured to their car seats or may not be using booster seats at all. The AAA and the Minnesota Safety Council would like to point out to parents that children aged four to eight who are properly secured to their booster seats are more likely to avoid severe injuries or even death in the event of a crash.
The Children?s Hospital of Philadelphia has quoted a figure of 59 percent survivability of children properly restrained on their booster seats over those who are only protected by the a seat belt.
To help parents protect their children in the event of a crash, the AAA came up with simple tips for them to follow. The tips are easy to follow just like it is easy to read a Volvo repair manual. One of which is to place infants on rear facing child safety seats in the backseat for as long as the seat can accommodate the child. They advised to use rear facing child safety seats until the child is at least a year old or weighs a minimum of 20 pounds. When they outgrow their rear facing seats, children should be secured to a forward facing child safety seat but should still ride on the backseat. Children must use this seat until they are approximately four years old or weighs at least 40 pounds.
When the child has outgrown their forward facing child safety seats, parents are advised to provide booster seats for them. They must still ride in the backseat though until they are old enough to be restrained properly by the vehicle safety belt. Usually at the age of 8, when they have reached a height of four feet and nine inches tall, they can now use ride on the grown-up seat at the back. Proper installation of the seatbelts should also be checked by parents. They may also opt for safety devices that will prevent the child from accidentally or intentionally unbuckling the seat belt.