BOISE — Wearing proper child restraints in vehicles is one of the best ways to reduce deaths in vehicle crashes, which is a leading killer for children aged 1 to 13, according to the Idaho Transportation Department's Office of Highway Safety.

“In 2016, 3 of 4 child passengers under 7 years old killed in Idaho car crashes weren’t in car seats, booster seats, or wearing seat belts,” said Sherry Jenkins, with ITD's Office of Highway Safety. “Those kids would have had a better chance of surviving had they been buckled up.”

ITD partnering with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) are reminding parents to properly fasten up their children in vehicles during National Child Passenger Safety Week from Sept. 23 to Sept. 29.

From 2012 to 2016, 22 children under age 7 were killed in Idaho passenger vehicle crashes. Of those, 13 were unrestrained.

“When children under 7 years old grow out of car seats, their greatest risk is not being placed in booster seats,” Jenkins said. “Booster seats can save lives and are as important as any of the other restraints.”

Child Passenger Safety Week helps teach parents and caregivers the importance of correctly installing and using car seats, booster seats, and seat belts. Parents can also register car seats with the manufacturer to be notified if there is a recall. 

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Child safety guidelines

NHTSA and ITD recommend keeping children in the back seat until at least age 13.

NHTSA recommends keeping children rear-facing as long as possible up to the top height or weight allowed by their particular seats. Once a child outgrows the rear-facing car seat, he or she is ready to travel in a forward-facing car seat with a harness. After outgrowing the car seats, children should be placed in booster seats until they are big enough to fit seat belts properly without help from a booster seat.

Also in part with National Child Passenger Safety Week will be free car seat checks around the state so parents can make sure they are using the right restraints for their children. 

  • 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sept. 29 at St. Luke’s Children, Nampa, 208-381-3033

  • 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Sept. 29 at Meridian Fire Department Station One, Meridian, 208-888-1234

  • 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sept. 28 at Nell J Redfield Memorial Hospital, Malad, 208-766-5368
  • 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sept. 29, at Walmart Supercenter, 2470 Pullman Road, Moscow, 503-523-6902

For more information on child car safety, go to safercar.gov/parents or ITD's safety site.

 

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