Maui Now : Child Passenger Safety Week is September 23-29
Car seat Inspection. Photo by Wendy Osher.
Every 33 seconds, one child under the age of 13 is involved in a crash, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Police across the state say that many times, deaths and injuries can be prevented by proper use of car seats, boosters, and seat belts.
Police say motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death for children in the US, and they are encouraging the public to buckle up as the best way to save lives and reduce injuries.
From 2012 to 2016, there were 3,268 children under 13 killed while riding in passenger vehicles. These numbers have been increasing steadily since 2014. On average, nearly two children under 13 were killed every day in 2016 while riding in cars, SUVs, pickups, and vans.
From 2012 to 2016, there were 1,132 “tweens” (8 to 12-years-old) killed in passenger vehicles. In 2016, the 8-to-12 age group had the highest number of fatalities (262, or 36%) among children in passenger vehicles, which is an 11% increase from 2015. Of those who were killed, almost 50% were unbuckled.
In 2016, over one-third (35%) of children under 13 killed in passenger vehicles were not restrained in car seats, booster seats, or seat belts. Statistically, more crashes occur during “school hours” (during the day, Monday through Friday).
Hawaiʻi Police offered the following tips to parents and caregivers in an effort to keep children safe:
Knowing how to use car seats, booster seats, and seat belts.
Using them on every trip, no matter how short.
Installing and using car seats and booster seats according to the owner’s manual or getting help installing them from a certified Child Passenger Safety Technician.
Recognizing that the safest way to buckle up changes as a child grows.
Buckling children age 12 and under in the back seat.
Taking the proper safety measures to assure that children are in the safest type of child safety restraint for their size, weight and age are always important. But the Hawai’i Police Department is asking everyone to focus on this during the “Child Passenger Safety Seat Week.” We hope that this will create good habits that carry on throughout the rest of the year and through the lives of the people in Hawai’i.