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For Release: September 8, 2009 - 
Contact: Pamela Williams
Office of Communications
(405) 271-5601

Child Passenger Safety Week, September 12-18, 2009

In 2007, more than 6,000 children 14 years of age and younger were killed in motor vehicle crashes in the United States, and motor vehicle crashes continue to be one of the leading causes of death among children in Oklahoma.  According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHSTA), the use of child safety seats decreases the risk of child death in car crashes by 71 percent for infants and 54 percent for toddlers.  However, three out of four child safety seats are used incorrectly.

NHTSA offers 4 Steps for Kids to help parents and caregivers choose the right safety seat for their children:

  1. Rear-Facing Seats. For the best possible protection, keep infants in rear-facing child safety seats until they reach the height or weight limit specified on the safety seat.  Infants should remain rear-facing until they are at least 1 year old and weigh at least 20 pounds.  Rear-facing child safety seats should be installed in the back seat of the vehicle.
  2. Forward-Facing Seats. When children outgrow their rear-facing seats (at a minimum, 1 year old and at least 20 pounds) they should ride in forward-facing child safety seats in the back seat of the vehicle until they reach the height or weight limit specified on the safety seat (usually around age 4 and 40 pounds).
  3. Booster Seats. Once children outgrow their forward-facing seats (usually around age 4 and 40 pounds), they should ride in booster seats in the back seat of the vehicle until the vehicle seat belts fit properly.  Seat belts fit properly when the lap belt lays across the upper thighs and the shoulder belt lays across the chest (usually around age 8 or when they are 4’9” tall).
  4. Seat Belts. When children outgrow their booster seats, (usually at age 8 or when they are 4’9” tall) they can use the adult seat belt in the back seat, if it fits properly (lap belt lays across the upper thighs and the shoulder belt fits across the chest).

Choosing the appropriate safety seat for your child and installing it correctly in your vehicle can be challenging!  During “National Seat Check Saturday” on Sept.12, a number of child passenger safety events will take place statewide. Certified technicians will be available to provide on-site child safety seat inspections and child passenger safety education to parents and caregivers.  Also, a limited number of child safety seats will be available at no cost for eligible families. The following include Seat Check Events scheduled throughout the state during National Child Passenger Safety Week Sept. 12 – 18.

City

Location

Date/Time

Atoka
Atoka County Health Department
1006 W. 13th Street
9/18/2009
8:00am-12:00pm
Sayre
Sayre Fairgrounds
302 E. Main
9/12/2009
10:00 am – 2:00 pm
Anadarko
Anadarko Fire Department,
Station #2
2 Airport Road
9/11/2009
9:00am-12:00pm
Tahlequah
Cherokee Nation EMS
22114 S. Bald Hill Road
9/18/2009
10:00am-12:00pm
Altus
Wilmes Superstore
108 N. Veteran Drive
9/12/2009
10:00am-12:00pm
Ponca City
Ponca Plaza
2101 N. 14th
9/12/2009
9:00am-1:00pm
Battiest
Battiest Elementary School
100 Main Street
9/12/2009
9:00am-1:00pm
Edmond
Academy Sports
2501 S. Broadway
9/12/2009
10:00am-1:00pm
Oklahoma City
Hope Pregnancy Center
1624 S.W. 82nd Street
9/12/2009
10:00am-12:00pm
Oklahoma City
Latino Community
Development Agency
420 S.W. 10th Street
9/12/2009
9:00am-12:00pm
Shawnee
Unity North Surgical Center
1102 W. MacArthur
9/12/2009
10:00am-12:00pm
Antlers
Fairgrounds
Highway 271, between city park and football field
9/12/2009
9:00am-11:00am
Bixby
Bixby Fire Department,
Station #2
8401 E. 121 Street South
9/12/2009
10:00am-12:00pm
Tulsa
North Pointe Center
205 E. Pine Street
9/12/2009
10:00am-12:00pm


For more information, contact the Oklahoma State Department of Health Injury Prevention Service at (405) 271-3430, or your local county health department.  Additional child passenger safety information including Child Passenger Safety Common Errors, Child Passenger Safety FAQ, and a list of safety seat check up events in September can be found on the Web site at http://ips.health.ok.gov.

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