For Immediate Release: March 1, 2012

Safe Kids NC Hosts Child Safety Seat Checkup Events in Wake County

Commissioner encourages caregivers to have child restraints checked in Raleigh and Cary

RALEIGH -- Insurance Commissioner and State Fire Marshal Wayne Goodwin today announced that the North Carolina Department of Insurance and Safe Kids North Carolina are partnering with Kohl's department stores to host child safety seat checkups in Wake County.

Parents, grandparents and other caregivers are encouraged to visit one of two Wake County car seat checking sites on Monday, March 5, from 11 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., to have child restraints checked by a certified child passenger safety technician:

Raleigh Kohl's store - 9600 Falls of Neuse Road

Cary Kohl's store - 2350 Walnut Street

"Children rely on adults-their parents and caregivers-to make the best choices to protect them," said Goodwin, chair of Safe Kids North Carolina. "All families should have easy access to information about child passenger safety, and these seat check clinics help us reach that goal."

North Carolina law requires children to use a car seat or booster seat until they are at least 8 years old or 80 pounds, whichever comes first. Use the best protection for a child based on his or her age, height and weight.

The American Academy of Pediatrics policy advises parents to keep their toddlers in rear-facing car seats until age 2 or until they reach the maximum height and weight for their seat.

The American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration advise that most children will need to ride in a belt-positioning booster until they have reached 4 feet 9 inches and are between 8 and 12 years of age. Belt-positioning booster seats must NEVER be used with just a lap belt.

Children 12 years and under should always ride in the rear seat. Placing the shoulder belt under a child's (or adult's) arm or behind the back is both dangerous and illegal.

The penalty for not complying with the child restraint/booster seat law is two driver license points, a $25 fine and full court costs ($188.00 as of Aug. 2011).

Additional information about child passenger safety and North Carolina occupant restraint laws can be found at the Buckle Up NC website.

About Safe Kids North Carolina

Safe Kids North Carolina reaches out to parents, caregivers and children to prevent childhood injuries through 36 Safe Kids coalitions serving more than 64 counties. For more information, visit the Safe Kids NC website.