The safety seat

In today’s hectic world of parenthood, you may be overlooking something very simple, but very important: your child’s car seat.

  • Thursday, September 18, 2008 2:47pm
  • Opinion

In today’s hectic world of parenthood, you may be overlooking something very simple, but very important: your child’s car seat.

If you were in a car accident, how would your children fare? Traffic safety experts are hoping the answer will lead to less injuries and deaths for children in Redmond and beyond.

Vehicle crashes are the No. 1 cause of death for kids up to age 14. Many times, parents skip steps when it comes to properly securing their kids in the car because of time constraints. This can lead to injuries that could have been avoided.

Well, it’s time to take some time and make sure your children are safe.

Sept. 20-26 is national Child Passenger Safety Week, a time for parents to reexamine how they are transporting their children in vehicles.

Studies show that properly installed child seats reduce the likelihood of an infant (less than one year old) being killed in a vehicle crash by 71 percent and the risk of a toddler (one through four years old) being killed by 54 percent, according to the Washington State Safety Restraint Coalition.

Children ages four through seven who use booster seats are 59 percent less likely to be injured in a car crash than children who use seat belts. Yet, it is estimated that three out of four child seats are improperly installed, the coalition said.

If you want or need help with proper installment, go to the coalition’s Web site at www.800buckleup.org to find a trained technician in the area.

Our children deserve the best possible protection, so take the time to install a booster seat and buckle them up. Don’t hurry your children into seat belts too soon because it is more convenient.

Washington takes this issue very seriously. The state has a law which went into effect last June, which requires that children ride in a booster seat until age 8 or until they are 4-foot-9-inches. The law also says that children under the age of 13 must ride in the back seats whenever possible.

Washington now has a number to call to report an unbuckled child. That number is 1-800-282-5587.

So even if you are running late to getting your kids to school, don’t sacrifice their safety.

Buckle them up and buckle them up the right way.


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