Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for children ages 1-13, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is hoping to reduce those deaths with Child Passenger Safety Week, Sept. 16-22.
Car seats are often installed incorrectly, and children often travel in the incorrect seat for their age and size, according to the NHTSA. Parents and caregivers can help make sure their infants and children are in the correct seat during National Seat Check Saturday. On Saturday, Sept. 22, certified safety technicians will be available throughout the country to provide free, hands-on car seat inspections and safety advice. Search for a technician close to home on the NHTSA website. (Please note, not all technicians are available on Saturday; please call in advance.)
In Missouri, children under 4 or under 40 lbs. are required to ride in a child safety seat. Children ages 4 through 7 who are between 40-80 lbs. and are less than 4'9" tall are required to ride in a child safety seat or booster seat. Children older than 4 and at least 80 lbs. and 4'9" tall, or older than 8, may ride in a booster seat or use an adult safety belt. The American Academy of Pediatrics also makes recommendations on child safety seats, and a thorough discussion of the appropriate seats for kids can be found on their website.
NHTSA is also hosting a live Twitter question and answer session on Wednesday, Sept. 19 at 1 p.m. CST. Ask experts questions about car seats and safe travel for children by following hashtag #TheRightSeat. Questions can be directed to @NHTSAgov.