September 25, is National Seat Check Saturday: Certified Technicians in Broome County Will Check Car Seats and Teach Car Seat Safety for Free 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Up to the Minute

From the Broome County Health Department:

ENDICOTT, NY – The Broome County Traffic Safety Program and Endicott Fire Department announced today that certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians will be offering free car seat safety checks and education to parents and caregivers on Saturday, September 25, 2021, from 9AM – 12PM at the Endicott Fire Department, located at 224 Madison Avenue, Endicott. Appointments are strongly encouraged but walk-ins are welcomed.  Appointments can be made by calling 607-778-2807.  The Saturday event is part of Child Passenger Safety Week, which runs Sept. 19-25, and will include instruction on how to install and use car seats correctly. Technicians will also help determine if your child is in the right seat for their age and size and if your child is properly harnessed.

“We know parents and caregivers have a lot on their plates, so we hope that National Seat Check Saturday will be an opportunity to take just an hour or so to ensure your child is safe in their car seat or booster seat,” said Christine Muss, Traffic Safety Program Coordinator and Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician. “Sadly, two children under 13 were killed every day in 2019 while riding in vehicles. No parent ever wants to get it wrong when it comes to a child’s safety. Parents: Don’t think you know, know you know that your kids are secure in their car seats, and are in the right seats for their ages and sizes.”  Motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death for children, and the latest research from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows that nearly half (46%) of car seats are misused. Muss added that using age- and size-appropriate car seats and installing them correctly are the best ways to reduce these deaths. “More than one-third of children 12 and younger who died in crashes in 2019 while riding in cars, pickups, vans, and SUVs were unbuckled. Many of those kids could have survived if they had been buckled up.”

From 2015 to 2019, there were 1,709 “tweens” (8 to 14 years old) killed in passenger vehicles, and in 2019 alone, the 8-12-year-old age group had the highest number of fatalities (229) among children in passenger vehicles. It is critical that parents and caregivers ensure that, if a child is too large or old for a car seat, they are first put into a booster seat until a seat belt can fit correctly.

Car Seats versus Booster Seats

New York State law requires that children ride in an appropriate car seat or booster seat until their 8th birthday and that children under the age of 2 ride in a rear-facing car seat.  However, best practice is to keep your child in whatever seat they are using until they outgrown that seat by either height or weight.   NHTSA recommends keeping children rear-facing as long as possible, up to the top height and weight allowed by their particular seats. It’s the best way to keep them safe. Once a child outgrows the rear-facing car seat, he or she is ready to travel in a forward-facing car seat with a harness and tether. After outgrowing the forward-facing car seat, a child should be placed in a booster seat until tall enough to fit in a seat belt properly.

Booster seats are an essential step between car seats and seat belts. These transitional seats position the seat belt so that it fits properly over the stronger parts of your child’s body. Don’t feel pressured to put your child in a seat belt too soon. If your child is ready to use a seat belt, ensure the seat belt fits correctly. Bottom line: The safest place for all kids under 13 is buckled up in the back seat.

Learn About Car Seat Safety

If you plan on attending Saturday’s event, be sure to call ahead of time to schedule an appointment by calling 607-778-2807 however walk-ins will be welcomed.  To protect the health and safety of everyone, all families, caregivers and children over the age of 2 are asked to wear a mask regardless of vaccination status during their inspection.  If you plan on attending Saturday’s event, be sure to bring your vehicle, child, the child safety seat and if available, your vehicle and car seat manuals. 

For more information about car seat safety, check out the list of free, online resources available at https://www.nhtsa.gov/equipment/car-seats-and-booster-seats:

•             Car Seat Types: Determine whether your child fits best in a rear-facing car seat, forward-facing car seat, booster seat, or seat belt.

•             Car Seat Recommendations: Review NHTSA’s recommendations for the best car seat for your child’s age and size.

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