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2022 Child Passenger Safety Week September 22, 2022

Many parents and caregivers spend hours in the car with their children every week—driving to and from school, sports practices, music lessons, friends’ houses, and other activities. Wherever kids need to go, the most important thing is making sure they get there safely. The importance of correctly installed car seats and booster seats—and making sure kids are buckled in the correct seats for their ages and sizes—can’t be understated.

Many children do travel in the right seats, but unfortunately there are still many children riding completely unrestrained, in the wrong restraint types for their ages and sizes, or in car seats that are incorrectly installed. Once children outgrow rear-facing infant car seats, they should still ride in rear-facing car seats until they outgrow the weight and height limits for that seat and direction. Then they should ride in a forward-facing car seat with a harness as long as possible. Only when they’ve outgrown the weight and height limits for that forward-facing car seat should they be moved to a booster seat. This is a step many parents move into or past too quickly. On average in 2020, two children under 13 were killed and an estimated 278 were injured every day while riding in cars, SUVs, pickups, and vans.

Car seats, booster seats, and seat belts have been proven effective in reducing crash fatalities among children. That’s why all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and all U.S. territories require the use of car seats for children traveling in motor vehicles. In 2020, of the 604 children 12 and younger who were killed while riding in passenger vehicles, more than a third were not in a car seat, booster seat, or wearing a seat belt. It is imperative that we work together toward eliminating these preventable deaths and injuries.

Coos Bay is committed to reducing senseless tragedies on our roads.  No matter how large the vehicle, or how short the distance, every child needs to be properly buckled in the back seat on every trip. Parents want what’s best for their children and go to great lengths to guide and protect them. One of the best ways a parent or caregiver can protect a child is by taking car seat and seat belt safety seriously. You’ve heard the old expression, “if you know better, you can do better.” New parents and experienced parents alike need to know what type of car seats are best for their children. As kids grow, their car seats will change along with them, and it’s important to keep them in the right seat at every stage.

During Child Passenger Safety Week in September, we encourage all parents and caregivers to take advantage of the free, online material that can be used to make sure children are in the right car seats for their ages and sizes, and that the seats are installed correctly. To find a list of car seat resources, visit www.nhtsa.gov/therightseat.