Annual Child Passenger Safety Week runs through Saturday
EAGLE COUNTY — The Colorado Department of Transportation and Colorado State Patrol are teaming together in an annual effort to encourage parents and caregivers to protect children in vehicles. National Child Passenger Safety Week runs from now through Saturday. The annual campaign raises awareness about child passenger safety laws and the importance of properly protecting children with car seats, booster seats and seat belts.
Car crashes are a leading cause of death for children under 13 nationally. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, three out of four children are not properly secured in car seats, putting them at severe risk of injury or death.
Last year in Colorado, eight children under the age of 12 died in crashes. Only two of the fatalities involved confirmed restraint use, but there is not information whether those restraints were properly installed.
“Too often, parents or caregivers improperly use or install child safety seats,” said Sam Cole, Communications Manager at the Colorado Department of Transportation. “To help keep children safe, we’re rolling out new resources to help parents and caregivers keep children safe while driving.”
New resources being released this week include a new website at CarSeatsColorado.com, an educational video about proper car seats use, and new educational brochures and fliers in English and Spanish that provide caregivers, law enforcement and child passenger safety technicians with the tools necessary to keep children safe in vehicles.
The website includes downloadable materials for parents, caregivers, law enforcement and child passenger safety technicians. Caregivers can also find nearby inspection stations, information on equipment recalls, Colorado’s car seat laws and more.
Car Seats Colorado also offers a new car seat recycling program. It is unsafe to use any car seat that was involved in a crash, has been recalled, or is simply worn out or out of date. There are 20 drop-off locations across the state. Child passenger safety professionals also recommend that people who sell or give away any car seat or booster seat have it inspected by a professional first.
“It’s important for parents and caregivers to not only put their children in a car seat or booster seat, but also make sure that seat is free of any damage, defects or recalls,” said Tim Sutherland, Car Seats Colorado Program Coordinator with the Colorado State Patrol. “You wouldn’t wear a bike helmet that has a crack in it, so why would you put your child in a seat that has something wrong with it? The recycle program will hopefully take some of those bad seats out of circulation.”
Throughout the week, the state agencies will host free car seat check events. At the events, trained car seat safety technicians will offer free car seat and booster seat inspections, fit checks and newly updated safety and law compliance educational materials. Event information can be found on the Car Seats Colorado Facebook events page.
Car Seats Colorado is comprised of the two state agencies, local car seat technicians, law enforcement, emergency services and other professionals who are dedicated to implementing child passenger safety programs and encouraging parents to take the necessary steps to protect their children when in vehicles. Learn more about how to keep children safe in vehicles and download informational resources at CarSeats Colorado.com.