Archive image | Photo by HStarr/iStock/Getty Images Plus, St George News
ST. GEORGE – Auto accidents are a leading cause of death for children under the age of 13 in the United States, and a study by the Centers for Disease Control found that using the right restraint device can reduce the risk of death for these little ones by more than 70%. .
In honor of Child Passenger Safety Week, which runs all weekend, safety partners are hosting free car seat classes and checkpoints across the state in an effort aimed at educating the public about the importance of child safety.
To this end, law enforcement, firefighters and public health officials have come together to encourage parents to put their child’s safety first by ensuring they are properly buckled in at all times when in a motor vehicle. Every ride, every time.
One of these partners, Findlay Subaru in St. George, is hosting an event to increase child safety by offering the public free car seat safety inspections by a trained technician – efforts to ensure all car seats and booster seats are installed and used correctly.
The event will be held on September 30 from 2 to 6 p.m. at Findlay Subaru’s at 1453 Sunland Drive in St. George, said Karyn Keanaaina, marketing coordinator for Findlay Subaru.
deaths and children
Traffic fatalities have steadily decreased since 1970, when more than 3,600 children died in accidents in the United States, largely due to the increased use of child restraint systems.
Despite this, traffic accidents still cause one in four fatal injuries among children, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
At the same time, the proportion of fatally injured children recorded at that time has increased significantly over the past three decades – from 15% in 1985 to 55% in 2020.
In 2020, more than 840 children died in traffic accidents nationwide.
According to one study, the older children were, the more likely they were to be unbelted in an accident, with almost half of all children aged 4 to 8 not wearing their seat belts – compared to 33% of children aged 4 to 8 7 years who were not buckled up.
If the parents or the driver are not wearing their seat belts, 40% of the children in the car are also not wearing their seat belts.
In addition, proper installation and use is also critical considering that according to a study by AAA, more than half of all child restraint systems are misused, while another study by Oregon Health and Science University Hospital found an 80% misuse rate.
dr Hilary Hewes, associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Utah School of Medicine, said in a recent statement that deciding on the right vehicle restraint system for these little ones should be based on the child’s height and weight, which is far more effective in making the selection is the right restraint system, because “Children come in all shapes and sizes, even if they are all the same age.”
In fact, a study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that using the wrong seat for the child’s age and weight is the most common form of abuse.
Once the child outgrows the forward-facing car seat, they should be secured in a booster seat, and skipping the booster seat too early is all too common, but still unsafe.
Research suggests that booster seats reduce the risk of injury for children aged four to eight by more than 45% compared to using seat belts alone.
The main reason for this is that seat belts are made for adults and are designed to fit over the strongest bones in the body – but not so for young children.
If the vehicle’s seat belt is fastened across the child’s stomach and not under the hip bones, they could suffer internal damage or spinal injuries in a crash. Thus, a child is ready to transfer out of a child safety seat when the seat belt properly encircles their hips and the center of their chest, which is typically the case when the child is approximately 4 feet 9 inches tall and weighs at least 100 pounds.
With this in mind, a car seat should be used until the child reaches the maximum height or weight limit before moving to the next stage.
Despite the efforts of manufacturers, national safety campaigns and child safety programs, many children, especially ages 4 and up, still drive unchecked.
Many of these injuries and fatalities can be prevented by placing children in size-adjusted car seats and booster seats, which reduces the risk of serious injury and death by more than half, and a car seat safety inspection can ensure these safety devices are used properly.
In addition to the Findlay Subaru event, there are three other Washington County locations that offer FIT testing, including the St. George Police Department, the Santa Clara-Ivins Police Department, and the Southwest Center on Tabernacle in St. George. Visit ClickIt.utah.gov for more information.
Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2022, All Rights Reserved.