We have been reminded lately that many children are not buckled up or restrained properly. Parents are making five critical, but fixable, mistakes when using car seats, according to new data announced by Safe Kids Worldwide and the General Motors Foundation. With so many safety features now available in both cars and car seats, parents are urged to make sure their kids are getting every advantage by taking the time to do a 15-minute at-home annual checkup.
Do you know what the law is for child safety seats in Utah?
In Utah, children up to age 8 (through age 7) must be in an appropriate child safety seat or booster seat when traveling in a passenger vehicle. There is an exception to the law that states that children younger than eight are not required to be in a booster seat if they are at least 57 inches tall (4’9″). At that point, they should use the vehicle’s lap and shoulder belt without a booster.
Seventy-three percent of car seats are not being used correctly. To find out why, Safe Kids analyzed data from more than 100,000 car seat inspections done by certified technicians conducted through its Buckle Up Program, a national initiative established in 1997 by Safe Kids and supported by General Motors and the General Motors Foundation to keep children and families safe in and around cars. Some findings proved that progress is being made, including that 98 percent of children arrived at car seat inspections in the back seat and 98 percent of the children were using some type of restraint.
“Correctly used child safety seats can reduce the risk of death by as much as 71 percent,” said Shannon Stokesberry, Safe Kids Coalition.
Motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death to children ages 1 to 13. In a nationwide effort to educate parents about the importance of car seat safety during Child Passenger Safety Week (September 15-22), Safe Kids and the General Motors Foundation are asking every parent to take 15 minutes for an at-home car seat checkup using the Safe Kids checklist.
Car Seat Checkup Checklist:
- Check the label on your car seat to make sure it is appropriate for your child’s age, weight and height.
- Keep all children in the back seat until they are 13 years old.
- Keep children in a rear-facing seat until two years old. Be sure to attach the top tether after tightening and lock the seat belt or lower anchors. Continue to use a booster seat until your child properly fits in the seat belt, usually when they are between the ages of 8 and 12.
- After securely fastened, shake the seat to make sure it does not move more than an inch. If it does, refasten the seat and make sure it does not move when jostled.
- Make sure the harness is tightly buckled and coming from the correct slots (check car seat manual). With the chest clip placed at armpit level, pinch the strap at your child’s shoulder. If there is no excess webbing, the seat is ready for use.
Fitting Stations throughout Northern Utah:
AAA – Ogden
5705 S Harrison Blvd
Ogden, UT 84403
(801) 605-0122 – Ben Mueller
South Ogden Police Dept.
3950 S Adams St
South Ogden, UT 84403
(801) 622-2800 – Bryan Hough
Weber-Morgan Health Dept.
477 23rd St
Ogden, UT 84401
236 E Young St
Morgan, Utah 84050
(801) 399-7186 – Jann Fawcett
Utah Highway Patrol – Heber
10420 N Jordanelle Blvd
Heber City, UT 84032
(435) 655-3445 – Landon Middaugh
Wasatch County Health Dept.
55 S 500 E
Heber, UT 84032
(435) 657-3259 – Amber Pulley
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