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SAFE KIDS Northeast Florida URGES PARENTS TO LEAD BY EXAMPLE WHEN DRIVING Buckle Up – Every Person, Every Ride, Every Time

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SAFE KIDS Northeast Florida URGES PARENTS TO LEAD BY EXAMPLE WHEN DRIVING Buckle Up – Every Person, Every Ride, Every Time

Child Passenger Safety Week is September 15-21 and culminates with National Seat Check Saturday on September 21. In September, Safe Kids will host more than 450 car seat events and inspection stations across the country, offering guidance from certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians on proper car seat and booster seat installation and usage, with a focus on the use of tethers.

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With nearly 200 million drivers on U.S. roadways, chances are high that most American drivers will experience car crashes during their lifetimes. While the majority of the nearly 6.5 million car crashes a year are non-fatal, even minor fender benders can have a significant impact on children, particularly those who are unrestrained. In a push to increase car seat and seat belt use, and in recognition of Child Passenger Safety Week, Safe Kids Northeast Florida  urges parents and caregivers to model safe driving habits, including buckling up – every person, every ride, every time.

“Parents are role models for their kids in multiple ways, but especially in the car,” said Cynthia Dennis, RN, Coordinator. “Using a seat belt every time you are in the car will help children learn a life-saving habit that will impact their lives for years to come.”

Children learn by example: they see whether parents and caregivers are buckling up, texting while driving or speeding. By about two years of age, as children move from rear-facing to forward-facing car seats, they begin observing and learning how to behave in and around cars. If using a seat belt is not a priority for the parent, it’s likely not going to be priority for the child. To the point, in 2017, when drivers involved in fatal crashes were unrestrained, 7 of 10 children in those crashes were also unrestrained (NHTSA). Thirty-seven percent (37%) of children who died in crashes were not using any restraint, not even the car’s free seat belt. 

In honor of Child Passenger Safety Week, Safe Kids Northeast Florida and its lead organization Wolfson Children’s Hospital are hosting a car seat checkup event on Saturday, September 21 for parents and caregivers to help ensure children are riding as safely as possible.  Of particular concern in our community are “big kids” from 4-10, who are often not restrained as carefully as babies and toddlers and therefore, suffer more injuries in a crash.  Reduced cost car seats and booster seats will be available at this event for families that need assistance in obtaining the right seat for their child.  Please call 904.202.4302 to reserve your spot.

For those who can’t attend the event, Safe Kids Northeast Florida recommends the Ultimate Car Seat Guide to help families learn about properly using a car seat. The Ultimate Car Seat Guide, a website available in English and Spanish that makes car seat buying, installing, fitting and changing from one seat to another easier for parents and caregivers to understand. The Guide, developed with support from Chevrolet, also offers best practices and expert advice covering all stages of a child’s development, from the first car seat until the child is ready for the seat belt alone. 

About Child Passenger Safety Week - September 15-21

Child Passenger Safety Week is September 15-21 and culminates with National Seat Check Saturday on September 21. In September, Safe Kids will host more than 450 car seat events and inspection stations across the country, offering guidance from certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians on proper car seat and booster seat installation and usage, with a focus on the use of tethers.

About Safe Kids Northeast Florida

Safe Kids Northeast Florida works to prevent unintentional childhood injury, the number one cause of death for children in the United States. Safe Kids Northeast Florida is a member of Safe Kids Worldwide, a global network of organizations dedicated to preventing unintentional injury. Founded in 2003, Safe Kids Northeast Florida is led by THE PLAYERS Center for Child Health at Wolfson Children's Hospital. For more information, visit safekids.org or wolfsonchildrens.org/safekids.

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