SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Back to school season is in full swing in the Pioneer Valley and you might be driving your little ones to daycare or preschool.
September 15-21 is Child Passenger Safety Week. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration uses this nationwide initiative as a way to make sure your child is in the correct car seat and that it’s properly installed and used.
The NHTSA says car seats can reduce the risk of death by injury in a crash by 71 percent for infants and 54 percent for toddlers.
According to the CDC, children should be buckled in a rear-facing car seat from birth until ages two to four or until they reach the max weight and height of that seat. Once they outgrow that, it’s time to face forward until at least the age of five.
Springfield mom Quanisha Suggs stressed the importance of following each step. She told 22News, “Once they get over a certain weight, they have to go to booster seats to keep them safe because if not, car crashes.”
Vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death for children. From 2013 to 2017 more than 3,000 children under 13 died while riding in passenger vehicles. Children should be in a booster seat until a seat belt fits right usually when they’re 4 feet, 9 inches tall or nine to 12-years-old.
It’s also very important that all car seats are registered with manufacturers in case of a safety recall.