Albany, NY - September 12, 2014 - Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that the week of September 14 – 20, 2014 has been designated as Child Passenger Safety Week. The goal of Child Passenger Safety Week is to raise awareness and remind parents and caregivers to make sure that they are properly using and installing their child safety seats. As part of this national safety initiative, state and local police agencies and various community safety partners will be offering free child car seat inspections by certified child passenger safety technicians, along with help finding the right car seat for their child's age and size.
“Car seats can significantly reduce the risks to a child passenger during an accident – but only if they are properly sized and installed,” Governor Cuomo said. “By offering free car seat inspections during Child Passenger Safety Week, we are giving drivers the knowledge they need to keep kids safe while on the road. I encourage all who drive with a young child on board to have their car seat inspected this month.”
Department of Motor Vehicles Commissioner and Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee Chair Barbara J. Fiala said, “Keeping children safe when traveling in a motor vehicle is one of our most important highway safety efforts. The key to keeping kids safe is to make sure your child is in the right seat for their age and size, and to make sure that the seat is correctly installed in your vehicle.”
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, car crashes are a leading cause of death for children aged one to 13 years old in the United States. In 2012, more than one third (37%) of children killed in car crashes were not in car seats, booster seats or seat belts. Every 34 seconds, one child under the age of 13 is involved in a crash.
When used correctly, car seats are proven to save lives. Car seats reduce the risk of fatal injury by 71 percent for infants and by 54 percent for toddlers in cars. In 2012, among children under the age of 5 in cars, an estimated 284 lives were saved by child restraints. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that an additional 58 children could have lived if car seat use was 100 percent.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommends the following when purchasing and using child safety seats:
- Select a car seat based on your child’s age and size, and choose a seat that fits in your vehicle and use it every time.
- Always refer to your specific car seat manufacturer’s instructions; read the vehicle owner’s manual on how to install the car seat using the seat belt or LATCH system; and check height and weight limits.
- To maximize safety, keep your child in the car seat for as long as possible, as long as the child fits within the manufacturer’s height and weight requirements.
- Keep your child in the back seat at least through age 12.