This press release published at the request of the Florida Department of Health in Alachua County.
Child Passenger Safety Week runs from September 23, through September 29, 2018, and is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The Florida Department of Health in Alachua County (DOH-Alachua) is hosting two events in September to raise awareness about the dangers children face when they are not buckled up properly. On September 18th, and 25th in the main parking lot of the Health Department (224 S.E. 24th Street, Gainesville). Alachua County residents can get their child seats checked by a Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician and pick up free educational materials. Participants should call and leave a message at 352-225-4354 to schedule an appointment. Calls will be returned by the following business day.
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, most are not (if they are buckled up at all). According to NHTSA, 46 percent of car seats are misused. To help combat this issue, DOH-Alachua announced today its participation in Child Passenger Safety Week, a campaign dedicated to helping parents and caregivers make sure their children ride as safely as possible.
“Every 33 seconds in 2016, a child under 13 was involved in a passenger vehicle crash,” said Jaime Lambert, Human Services Program Manager with the Florida Department of Health. “Using car seats that are age- and size-appropriate is the best way to keep your children safe.”
According to NHTSA, motor vehicle crashes are a leading killer of children, and fatalities are on the rise. Car seats, booster seats, and seat belts can make all the difference. Having the right car seat installed and used the right way is critical. 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. The safest place for all kids under 13 is always in the back seat.
DOH-Alachua reminds residents to register car seats and booster seats with the car seat manufacturer so they can be notified in the event of a recall.
Parents and caregivers can view more information on car seat safety.
The mission of the Florida Department of Health in Alachua County is to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county, & community efforts.
For more information, contact Jaime Lambert at 352-225-4370 or Pamela.Lambert@flhealth.gov.