Group Urges Child Car Seat Safety - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

02/14/06

Group Urges Child Car Seat Safety

Children are our most precious resource, and parents want to do everything they can to protect them. But many are endangering their kids without even knowing it. In Georgia, car accidents were the number one killer of kids between 2 and 14 in 2004, and 50 percent of all the children who died in auto accidents weren't in a car seat, or even wearing a seatbelt.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is launching a campaign to get every kid buckled up and in a booster seat. And one local group is doing whatever it can to help spread the message.

"An infant's weight is mainly in its head," said Jane Garrison with Safe Kids of Georgia. "Most severe crashes are from the front, so if the baby's head is thrown forward, they can have spinal cord injuries or literally break their neck."

Safe Kids is an organization designed to teach parents the right way to buckle up their kids. Garrison says 40 children in Georgia die each year in car accidents, many of whom could have been saved by the right car seat.

Just buying a child carrier isn't enough. You have to have the right type for the height and weight of your child. And make sure it's locked tight in the seat.

"Test it, make sure it doesn't move more than an inch forward or to the side," Garrison advised.

And don't think because your little buddy is bigger, he can ride with the big people. Georgia and South Carolina law says that children under 80 pounds should be strapped into car seats, and everyone under 6 must have safety restraints.

Garrison says those are just a few of the rules designed to keep kids of all ages smiling and waving a lot longer. "As long as everyone is buckled in safely, they have a better chance of survival."

If you'd like to find out the right way to put in a car seat, Safe Kids is hosting a special demonstration this Saturday. It's from 11am to 3pm at Dan Vaden Chevrolet on Abercorn Street. Experts will make sure your seats are properly installed, and offer a few tips to help make each ride a safe one.

You can find out about Safe Kids and the child restraint laws in Georgia and South Carolina online:

www.safekids.org

www.gohs.state.ga.us/childsafety.html

www.buckleupsc.com/cps/laws.htm

Reported by: Andrew Davis, andrewdavis@wtoc.com

 

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