Kate’s Corner
Jun 29 2015

    Caution: Children On Board

   Safe Summer Travels

Summer days are busy days and we have our children in cars all summer long.  Many families will be traveling with young children for vacations, visits and events.  It is really important to be sure that young children are safe and secure in vehicles.   “Most crashes occur within 6 miles of home at relatively slow speed. But even at 30 mph, the force of a crash on a 10-pound infant is more than a 10-pound bowling ball falling from a 3 story window.” Dr. Benjamin Hoffman, medical director of the Tom Sargent Safety Center at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital in Portland, Oregon.  That’s pretty scary.

By far the most common type of injury accidents involving children are those that also involve motor vehicle collisions.  According to the National Center for Statistics and Analysis (NCSA), nearly 250,000 children are injured every year in car accidents. This means that on any given day nearly 700 children are harmed due to accidents on our roadways.  Of the 250,000 kids injured each year, approximately 2,000 die from their injuries.  Children make up about 5% of total fatalities due to car accidents.  In fact, for children between the ages of 2 and 14, motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death.  (NCSA)  That’s even scarier.

New York State Recommendations: www.safeny.ny.gov

NEW YORK STATE’S CHILD RESTRAINT LAW

Child Passenger Restraints Are Not An Option, They Are The Law!

Birth – 12 months
Your child under age 1 should always ride in a rear-facing car seat.  There are different types of rear-facing car seats: Infant-only seats can only be used rear-facing. Convertible and 3-in-1 car seats typically have higher height and weight limits for the rear-facing position, allowing you to keep your child rear-facing for a longer period of time.

1 – 3 years
Keep your child rear-facing as long as possible. It’s the best way to keep him or her safe. Your child should remain in a rear-facing car seat until he or she reaches the top height or weight limit allowed by your car seat’s manufacturer. Once your child outgrows the rear-facing car seat, your child is ready to travel in a forward-facing car seat with a harness.

4 – 7 years
Keep your child in a forward-facing car seat with a harness until he or she reaches the top height or weight limit allowed by your car seat’s manufacturer. Once your child outgrows the forward-facing car seat with a harness, it’s time to travel in a booster seat, but still in the back seat.

8 – 12 years
Keep your child in a booster seat until he or she is big enough to fit in a seat belt properly. For a seat belt to fit properly the lap belt must lie snugly across the upper thighs, not the stomach. The shoulder belt should lie snug across the shoulder and chest and not cross the face or neck.  Children should still sit in the back seat of the car.

WHAT IS NEW  YORK STATE’S OCCUPANT RESTRAINT LAW?

In passenger vehicles (cars, passenger trucks, RVs):

  • The driver and all front-seat passengers must wear seat belts, one person per belt.
  • Children less than 4 years old must be restrained in a child safety seat that meets Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 213.
  • Children less than 4 years old who weigh more than 40 pounds may be restrained in a booster seat with a combination lap and shoulder belt.
  • Children ages 4, 5, 6 and 7 must be properly restrained in an appropriate child restraint system that meets the child’s height and weight recommendations according to the child restraint manufacturer. Depending on the size of the child, it may be a safety seat or a booster seat.
  • Back seat passengers up to age 16 must be properly restrained, either in the appropriate child restraint system or by the seat belt if at least age seven.

All drivers and all passenger – at any age – are safe in restraint!                                                                                BUCKLE UP!!!

Also remember:

Many communities offer seat belt checks at police stations, childcare centers and libraries.  Check your community for dates or call your community Town Hall or Police Station with questions.

If you have a dated or used car seat, there are guides for use on the website above.

As busy as your day is or even if you are just running to the corner store:  if your child is with you, the extra 3 minutes it takes to safely buckle them in can save their life.

Never leave your child unattended in a car.

If your child travels with someone other than you, it is critical that they know how to properly fit and secure a car seat in their vehicle, secure your child in the appropriate restraint and follow all safe travel guides.

Enjoy Summer & safe travels in this very busy time of year!