Child Passenger Safety Week began Sept. 16, 2012, and concludes with National Seat Check Saturday on the 22nd.
The goals of the initiative launched by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration are laudable, including educating parents about how to install rear-facing car seats for infants and continuing to use booster seats for children until they reach 4 foot 9 inches. But I can't help but wonder why such a concerted effort in necessary.
One statistic, cited by NHTSA, answers any and all questions: "Car crashes are the number one killer of children 1 to 12 years old in the United States."
Sadly, my colleagues and I know this to be far too true. We also know that no car seat will provide absolute protection in every kind of traffic accident. We know that some car seats prove defective and dangerous and need to be recalled. We know that an incorrectly installed or used safety seat will not do its job.
Acknowledging all that, we also know that nothing offers a baby, preschooler or elementary school student a better chance of coming away from a wreck alive and uninjured than a good, correctly and consistently used car safety seat.
NHTSA offers multiple instructional videos on car seat installation and use on its website.
Locally, you can find out where to get a free car seat inspection, installation and adjustment by clicking here.