SMH Celebrates Child Passenger Safety Week
Stephens Memorial Hospital and The Family Birthplace Celebrate Child Passenger Safety Week September 15 – 21, 2013.
Car crashes are the number one killer of children 1 to 12 years old in the United States. The best way to protect a child is to put them in the right seat, at the right time, and use it the right way. Restraint use among young children often depends upon the driver’s seat belt use. Almost 40% of children riding with unbelted drivers were themselves unrestrained.
MAINE LAW states children:
• Birth through Age 2 should ride rear facing until they reach the upper weight or height limits of the seat.
• Ages 2-4 should ride in a forward-facing child safety seat with a harness until they reach the upper weight or height limits of the seat. Many newer seats have higher weight limits so check the instruction booklet.
• Ages 4-8 or until 4’9”tall should ride in a booster seat, either high-back or regular.
• After age 8 and/or 4’9”tall a child may use a seat belt as long as the lap belt lays across the upper thighs (not stomach) and shoulder belt crosses the chest (not neck).
• All children should ride in the back seat, preferably middle position, until age 13.
FIVE TIPS for purchasing a child passenger safety seat:
• Look for a seat that has a label stating it meets Federal Motor Vehicle safety Standards.
• If possible take your child with you when you buy the seat in order to fit them properly.
• Look for a seat you can use rear facing as long as possible. Convertible seats may be used rear and forward facing.
• Look for a seat that is easy for you to use and one that the child cannot remove themselves from.
• Read the instruction booklet that comes with the seat and send in your registration card in case of a recall.
Stephens Memorial Hospital is an inspection and distribution site for car seats in the state of Maine. As a distribution site we are authorized to provide car seats and boosters to families at no cost if they meet the State financial requirements. Our next event is Saturday, November 9th 10:00 am - 2:00 pm at the Norway Fire Department. For more information on car seat safety, contact Carol Welsh at 207-743-1562 x 6951.