September 15-21 is National Child Passenger Safety Week. Car crashes are currently the leading cause of death among children aged 1 to 13. Carolinians can help change these numbers by taking the proper precautions when driving.
In conjunction with the nationally recognized, week-long safety event, National Seat Check Saturday is Saturday, September 21. This is the perfect time to remind all motorists with child restraints to check the safety of their restraints and to stay up-to-date on any potential recalls affecting their restraints.
In 2016, there were 328 children under the age of 5 saved nationwide because they were in the proper car seats, according to the CDC. There will be safety events held across the Carolinas to teach child passenger safety and to provide free car-seat installation and checks. A list of North Carolina events can be found here, and South Carolina events here.
Parents and guardians should adhere to the following North Carolina laws regarding child passenger safety:
- Children under the age 16 are to be properly restrained in an age, weight and height appropriate restraint.
- Children should ride rear-facing as long as possible (or at least until the age of 2).
- Once a child has outgrown the rear-facing seat’s height and weight limit, the child can then ride in a front-facing seat with a harness.
- Once the front-facing seat is outgrown as well, a child can then ride in a properly harnessed booster seat until the regular seatbelt fits the child’s size.
Parents and guardians should adhere to the following South Carolina laws regarding child passenger safety:
- Children under the age of two or weighing less than 20 lbs must be in a rear-facing child safety seat.
- Children of age two or weighing between 20 and 40 lbs must be in a forward-facing child safety seat.
- Children over four years, weighing 40 to 80 lbs must be in a belt-positioning booster seat. This booster seat must be used with both lap and shoulder belts.
- Any child of at least eight years of age or fifty-seven inches tall is permitted to use an adult safety belt if the belt fits across the child’s thighs and hips, the shoulder belt crosses the center of the child’s chest and the child is able to sit with they’re back straight against the vehicle seat back cushion with knees bent over the seat edge.
For more safety information on car seats and booster seats, and to register yours to be notified in the event of a recall, click here.