Every day in America, millions of parents and caregivers travel with children in their vehicles. While some children are buckled in properly in the correct car seats for their ages and sizes, many are not, if they are buckled up at all. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 46% of car seats are misused.
To help combat this issue, The City of West Haven Fire Department – Allingtown announced its Child Passenger Safety Seat Inspection & Installation program, which is dedicated to helping parents and caregivers make sure their children ride as safely as possible — every trip, every time. The Child Passenger Safety Seat program involves clinics conducted by department staff, who have received certification as Child Safety Seat installation technicians. They will either inspect existing car seat installations, or install child safety car seats to those who wish to do so.
To help combat this issue, Target of Orange donated 8 brand new child safety car seats to be used in conjunction with the department’s newly established program.
The clinics will be held twice a month primarily at the COWHFD Allingtown Minor Park station in West Haven at 318 Fairfax St., and occasionally at other sites around the West Haven area. Interested parents and caregivers, who wish to take advantage of this public service, should contact (203) 933-2541, or (203) 387-6623 to learn more. The number of car seat inspections and installations that can be effectively performed are limited for each event.
“Every 32 seconds in 2018, a child under 13 was involved in a passenger vehicle crash,” and “Using car seats that are age- and size-appropriate is the best way to keep your children safe,” According to NHTSA
“As parents and caregivers, we have a long list of things we do for our children to show our love. One of the simplest and most important things on the list should be to make sure they are in the right car seat for their age and size,” said Department Chief MichaelTerenzio.
NHTSA recommends keeping children rear-facing as long as possible, up to the top height and weight allowed by their particular seats. Once a child outgrows the rear-facing-only “infant” car seat, he/she should travel in a rear-facing “convertible” or all-in-one car seat. Once your child outgrows the rear-facing size limits, the child is ready to travel in a forward-facing car seat with a harness and tether. After outgrowing the forward-facing car seat with harness, children should be placed in booster seats until they’re the right size to use seat belts safely.
Always remember to register your car seat and booster seat with the car seat manufacturer so you can be notified in the event of a recall. Parents and caregivers can view more information on car seat safety and locate a certified technician at www.nhtsa.gov/therightseat.