(Salt Lake City, UT) – Every day, Utah emergency room staff treat an average of three children under age nine for injuries due to motor vehicle crashes: that’s nearly 1,100 children per year. Utah Department of Health (UDOH) injury experts say many are hurt because they aren’t properly buckled into a car seat or booster seat. The UDOH, Safe Kids Utah, and local Safe Kids coalitions and chapters will celebrate National Child Passenger Safety Week with free events to help parents learn whether their child is buckled up correctly.
“Making sure your child’s car seat is installed correctly is one of the best decisions you’ll ever make,” said Janet Brooks, Child Advocacy Manager with Primary Children’s Medical Center. “Child seats reduce the chance of an infant being killed in a crash by 71 percent and the risk of a toddler being killed by 54 percent. Kids in booster seats are also less likely to be killed (54 percent) or injured (59 percent) than those who are restrained only by seat belts.”
Free car seat checks will be held across the state the week of September 18-24, 2011. Certified child passenger safety technicians will be on hand to show parents how to install their car seats and booster seats the right way. Events will be held:
• Monday, September 19 – Car seat inspections at the Wasatch County Health Department (55 South 500 East, Heber). By appointment only. Call 435-657-3260 to schedule an appointment.
• Tuesday, September 20 – Car seat checkpoint from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Utah Dream Center (1624 South 1000 West, Glendale). Spanish-speaking technicians available.
• Wednesday, September 21 – Car seat inspections at the Wasatch County Health Department (55 South 500 East, Heber). By appointment only. Call 435-657-3260 to schedule an appointment.
• Wednesday, September 21 – Car seat checkpoint from 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Coalville Fire Station (50 East Main Street, Coalville).
• Wednesday, September 21 – Car seat checkpoint from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Droubay Chevrolet (348 West Main Street, Delta).
• Thursday, September 22 – Car seat checkpoint from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Price City Fire Station (87 North 200 East, Price).
• September 23 and 24 – Car seat safety booth in conjunction with the “What a Woman Wants Expo” at the South Towne Expo Center (9575 South State Street, Sandy).
• Friday, September 23 – Car seat inspections from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Summit County Health Department (650 Round Valley Drive, Park City). Appointments recommended, call 435-333-1508 to schedule an appointment.
• Saturday, September 24 – Car seat safety booth from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Utah Olympic Park (3419 Olympic Parkway, Park City).
• Saturday, September 24 – Car seat checkpoint from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Smith’s (20 North Bluff Street, St. George). A free booster seat will be given to the first 10 people attending the event.
• Saturday, September 24 – Car seat checkpoint from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Intermountain Layton Clinic (2075 North 1200 West, Layton).
• Saturday, September 24 – Car seat checkpoint from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Hansen Motor Company (1175 South Commerce Way, Brigham City).
• Saturday, September 24 – Car seat checkpoint from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Mountainview Hospital (1000 East 100 North, Payson).
• Saturday, September 24 – Car seat checkpoint from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Lowe’s (1335 South 300 West, Salt Lake City). Spanish speaking technicians available.
• Saturday, September 24 – Safety fair from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Gunnison Elementary (400 East 550 South, Gunnison).
Other tips to keep kids safe in vehicles include:
• Place children in the back seat in a properly installed child safety seat or booster seat. Infants should be restrained in rear-facing child safety seats for as long as possible. Children should remain rear facing until age 2.
• Toddlers should ride in forward-facing child safety seats in the back seat until they reach the upper weight or height limit of the seat (usually around age 4 and 40 pounds).
• By law, children must ride in booster seats until age 8. It’s even safer to keep them in boosters until they’re 4 feet 9 inches tall, no matter their age.
• After age 8, children should always wear a seat belt. Children 12 years of age and younger should continue to ride in the back seat.
• Use the car seat instruction manual and the vehicle owner’s manual to make sure the car seat is properly installed.
• Replace any car seats that were in use during a motor vehicle crash.
Funding for these activities is provided by the Zero Fatalities program and the Utah Department of Public Safety. To learn more about Child Passenger Safety Week and events near you, visit www.safekidsutah.org.
Safe Kids Utah Coordinator
(o) 801-538-6852 (m) 801-860-2544
Primary Children’s Medical Center
(o) 801-662-6585 (m) 801-597-8070