DOI News

For Immediate Release: Contacts:
September 9, 2009 Kristin Milam
Johanna Royo
919-807-6011
 
Child Passenger Safety Week 2009 Aims to Save Lives
A tough economy can lead to more children in unsafe seats
 
RALEIGH -- As many as 80 percent of all car seats are improperly installed, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. This is especially scary because motor vehicle crashes are the No. 1 killer of children under the age of 14. Aside from installation, second-hand car seats can be a hidden danger for unsuspecting parents.
 
"In a tough economy, more used seats hit the market, and it's a bigger temptation to buy a second-hand seat. I want to help citizens get the most for their money, but always keep their children safe," said Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin. Goodwin also serves as the Safe Kids North Carolina state chair.
 
Governor Bev Perdue has declared September 12-18, Child Passenger Safety Week in North Carolina. During this week, Safe Kids Coalitions around the state will be hosting free seat education and seat check events, collecting unsafe seats and passing out a new checklist for parents and caregivers to help them determine whether or not a second-hand seat is safe. For example, did you know that child safety seats come with an expiration date? Or that once a car seat has been in a crash it's probably no longer safe?
 
Parents and caregivers should make sure any car seat they buy or borrow:
 
  • Has no cracks in the frame or tears in the straps
  • Has a readable label with the model number and date of manufacture

  • This is the only way to check if the seat is recalled or is too old.
  • Has manufacturer and installation instructions

  • This is the only way to know if the seat is missing parts.
  • Has never been in a crash

  • Seats that have been in a crash may no longer be safe.
Go to the Buckle Up NC Web site for a list of recalled car seats and more information about seats that have been in a crash.
 
Remember the best seat is the one that fits your child's age and size, fits well in your vehicle, and can be used correctly every time you drive.
 
Safe Kids North Carolina reaches out to parents, caregivers and children in 58 counties served by 36 coalitions across the state. Through these coalitions and partnerships, more than six million people have access to Safe Kids North Carolina programming. Learn more at the Safe Kids NC Web site.
 
-- SKNC --