KERNERSVILLE, N.C. — Every day, too many children ride in car seats that have been installed incorrectly or are riding in the wrong car seats for their ages and sizes.
Other children ride while completely unbuckled.
According to the National Highway Traffic Administration, motor vehicle injuries are a leading cause of death among children in the United States.
But many of these deaths can be prevented.
The latest NHTSA report shows, 37% of children killed in car crashes in 2017 were not buckled up.
Statistics also show properly installed car seats saved the lives of 325 children under the age of 5 in 2017.
Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey is joining the Governor's Highway Safety Program, law enforcement agencies and first responders urging parents and caregivers to ensure children are secured in a properly installed child safety seat when riding in a vehicle to save lives.
In recognition of Child Passenger Safety Week that runs Sept. 15-21, Commissioner Causey will be joined by GHSP Director Mark Ezzell on Monday at the Huntersville Police Department to show how properly installed child restraints can greatly improve the safety of a child.
"Safety seats save lives. It's that simple," said Commissioner Causey. "Our goal during Child Passenger Safety Week is to teach as many parents, grandparents, and caregivers as possible the correct way to install a child passenger safety seat and secure children in a vehicle."
During Monday's event, child passenger safety technicians will inspect car seats free of charge to make sure children are in an age appropriate seats that are properly installed.
Huntersville Police Chief Bence Hoyle will also highlight the importance of child passenger safety seats by pointing to a recent example where his officers installed a car seat which may have saved the lives of two children.
In addition to this safety event this week, highway safety patrol officers across the state of North Carolina will be stepping up enforcement of the state's child safety seat law.
The Safe Kids organization will also hold Seat Check Saturday events on Saturday, September 21 at various locations across the state.
Seat Check Saturday is designed to help parents and caregivers make sure their children's seats are properly installed.
Trained technicians will be at these events to provide free car seat inspections and training to help parents and caregivers buckle kids in safely.
There are more than 230 permanent checking stations located at fire stations and other sites in North Carolina that can provide these services year-round.
Click here to find a station near you.
Top Tips about Car Seat Safety:
- Buying the right car seat. Your baby needs to ride in a rear-facing car seat as long as possible until 2 or more years. When your child has outgrown that seat, you are ready for a forward-facing car seat. Get more details about buying the right car seat for your child.
- Installing your car seat. You'll need to decide on using either the seat belt or lower anchors to secure your car seat. Both are safe, but don't use them both at the same time. Once your child is forward facing, it is important to use the tether with the seat belt or lower anchors. Get more details about installing your car seat.
- Getting the right fit. A properly-fitted harness gives the best possible protection for your child. Here are more details about getting the right fit for your child.
- When to change your car seat. Look on the car seat label to make sure your child is still within the weight, height and age limits for that seat. Get details about when to change your car seat.