WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Governor Roy Cooper proclaimed this week as "Child Passenger Safety Week" and September 23 as "Child Passenger Safety Day."
The goal is to reach zero traffic-related fatalities through coordinated agency-to-agency efforts that help reduce risky driving behaviors by changing the overall traffic safety culture.
Luly Beckles is the Pediatric Injury Coordinator at Brenner’s Children’s Hospital and the Safe Kids Coordinator for the Northwest Piedmont Triad. Beckles constantly travels across the Piedmont educating parents and caregivers about preventable injuries in children, including car seat safety.
WFMY News ‘s Laura Brache met with Beckles to teach you ways you can keep your child safe on the road. Here's what we learned:
· Children should ride rear-facing until at least age 2. Read the specifications on your car seat to know what weight, height and age your child must be before they can ride forward-facing.
· A convertible car seat is a good option for parents who want to save money on car seats since they can convert from a rear-facing to a forward-facing car seat when the child comes of age.
· Your child’s car seat harness must at or below shoulder-level, the chest clip must be at armpit level, and that you are not able to pinch the webbing for it to be safe.
· Make sure you read your car seat AND your vehicle’s manual for specific details on what method of securing the car seat works best with your car: seat belt or latch system and tether.
· Car seats have an expiration date – do not use your car seat if it is past the expiration date indicated on the product.
· Once your child has outgrown the convertible car seat around pre-school age, a combination car seat is a good option.
· Preschool-aged children should not be riding a car without a backless booster seat until at least 6 or 7 years of age.
· Transitioning into a belt-positioning booster is necessary for kids who are still under 4’9”. The shoulder belt must touch the bone between their neck and their shoulder, and the lap belt must touch the top of their legs, NOT their abdomen, and their knees must bend over the edge of the seat.
For more information, visit www.buckleupnc.org. If you are in the Triad, contact Luly Beckles with Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center to find out about the next Safe Kids car safety seat inspection at 336-716-0649.