Franciscan Health Indianapolis Promotes Child Passenger Safety Week
INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana – Franciscan Health Indianapolis is encouraging parents and caregivers to have children's safety seats inspected based on recommendations issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
The hospital's ongoing initiative coincides with the annual Child Passenger Safety Week, September 15-21.
"Increasing child passenger safety is a primary goal of ours," said Sharilyn Wagner, a postpartum nurse, who directs the Child Seat Safety Program at Franciscan Health Indianapolis. "It's vital that parents and caregivers ensure children are properly buckled and fitted with the right car seat."
Every 32 seconds, one child under the age of 13 in a passenger vehicle is involved in a crash. Many times, injuries and deaths can be prevented by proper use of car seats, boosters and seat belts.
Adults can arrange for free inspections any time of the year by calling Franciscan Health Indianapolis at (317) 528-5774. If help is needed with car seats, Wagner's office can help provide them.
To learn more about child seat safety laws in Indiana, go to http://www.preventinjury.org.
NHTSA Car Seat Recommendations for Children
Birth-12 months: A child under age one should always ride in a rear-facing car seat. There are different types of rear-facing car seats: Rear-only facing 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. Never put a rear facing seat in front of an active airbag.
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 and should continue to ride rear-facing 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. A child should be at least a minimum of 4 years old and 40 pounds before moving up to a booster 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. Indiana State Law states that all children under the age of 8 must be in a booster seat or car seat. Best Practice is 4' 9'. 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 neck or face. Remember: A child should still ride in the back seat until the age of 13.
By Joe Stuteville
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