HARRISBURG, Pa (WHTM) – As part of National Child Passenger Safety Week, several free car seat safety checks will be held across central Pennsylvania.
Vehicle crashes are one of the leading causes of death among children ages three to 14 years old, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Many of those deaths could be prevented if children are properly restrained in a vehicle.
In Pennsylvania, the law requires children under 2 be secured in a rear-facing car seat. They should remain in the rear facing position until the child outgrows the maximum weight and height limits set by the car seat manufacturer. Children from age 4 up to age 8 must be in a booster seat. Children from age 8 up to age 18 must use a seat belt. It is also suggested that children sit in the back seat until at least age 12.
PennDOT recommends parents select a car seat based on their child’s age and size. They should choose a seat that fits in their vehicle. Parents should follow specific car seat manufacturer’s instruction and refer to the vehicle owner’s manual on how to install the car seat using the seat belt or LATCH system.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly half of all car seats are not installed or used correctly. Because of that, car safety seat checks are a big part of National Child Passenger Safety Week, which runs from September 18 – 24. You can find a listing of free checks by following this link.
If you can’t make one of the events this week, PennDOT provides funding for fitting stations across the state where technicians will check that the child safety seat is properly installed. To find a fitting station near you, search the fitting station directory.