Char-Koosta News

The Official Publication of the Flathead Nation online

Child Passenger Safety Week buckles up September 15 - 22

POLSON — The Lake County Buckle Up Coalition will conduct a child car seat check-up event on Saturday, September 15, as part of Wal-Mart’s Safety Day Event. Certified child passenger safety technicians will be on hand from 11 am to 3 pm to check for proper installation of child car seats, and more importantly, to make sure parents and caregivers know how to secure them correctly also.

This car seat safety event kicks off the National Child Passenger Safety Week, an annual campaign to bring public attention to the importance of properly securing all children in the appropriate car seat or booster for their age and size. Car crashes are the leading cause of death for children age 1 through 13. In addition, three out of four car seats are not used correctly. Some of the most common mistakes made include: Not keeping children rear-facing up until age 2 or the highest weight/height limit of the car seat; after 7 years of age, less than 2 percent use a booster seat; and having children 13 and under ride in the back seat.

Today, all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico require children be restrained in motor vehicles. These laws were enacted because of the tremendous safety benefits they provide. Car seats help save lives and reduce injuries. They are most effective when installed and used correctly. Rear-facing car seats are now recommended up until age 2 because they help to protect the fragile head and neck in the case of an accident. A booster seat ensures that the seat belts cross the child at the strongest parts of the body - the shoulder and hipbones versus the neck and stomach. And the safest place for a child under 13 is in the back seat.

The Lake County Buckle Up Coalition, with members from the Montana Highway Patrol, Polson and Lake County Police Departments and the Lake County Health Department, are committed to working closely with our partners and safety advocates to help you make the kind of choices that will keep your children alive and safe. Our goal is to educate parents and caregivers about best practice when traveling with children from birth through age 12. Stop by the parking lot of Wal-Mart on September 15 and make sure your child’s car seat is installed correctly. Everyone is urged to help reduce injuries and the tragic loss of life by buckling up themselves and their children - every trip, every time.

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