The Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services Office of Public Health (OPH) is currently participating in 2022’s National Child Passenger Safety Week, which ends Sept. 24.
The week is dedicated to helping parents and caregivers make sure their children ride in the car as safely as possible.
Road to Safety
This year’s theme is “The Road to Safety,” highlighting the importance of selecting a size-appropriate car seat for every child and using it correctly every time.
Motor vehicle crashes remain a leading killer of children. Many parents and caregivers believe their children are in a correctly installed restraint system, but data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows that nearly half (46 percent) of car seats are misused. A correctly selected and installed car seat or booster seat is essential when traveling on the road.
Parents and caregivers need to make certain they and their children are properly buckled on every trip, no matter the distance.
Children who are correctly buckled in a car seat, booster seat, or seat belt benefit from the single most effective way to protect passengers.
According to NTHSA, passenger car seats reduce the risk of fatal injury by 71 percent for infants and by 54 percent for toddlers. Whenever possible, all children younger than 13 years of age should ride buckled in the back seat, as air bags are designed for adults.
Installation Checks and Equipment
The Montgomery County OPH offers free car seat checks both in-person and virtually to families to ensure proper installation of their child safety seats and receive valuable child passenger safety information. The service is available in Norristown.
Information about the Montgomery County Child Passenger Safety Program, including how to schedule a National Child Passenger Safety Week car seat check, can be found online.
For families who may be unable to afford a car seat, equipment loan programs are a worthy option. Information on accessing a loaned seat is available by calling 800-CAR-BELT.