News...
February 27, 2006

Statewide Efforts to Improve Child Passenger Safety
are a Continued Success

PIERRE, S.D. –During the week of February 12-18, the Governor’s Child Seat Program: Project 8 joined with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the Ad Council and others to commemorate Child Passenger Safety Week.  Many successful events were held across the state of South Dakota to continue the education and awareness of child passenger safety.  Child Passenger Safety Technicians conducted these events in cooperation with community partners to help with demonstrating and educating adults on the proper way to use and install child safety seats.

Statewide, a total of 91 car seats were inspected, 77 of these car seats were installed incorrectly, and 64 seats were distributed to income eligible families throughout the week.

One of the five Project 8 events was held in Eagle Butte at the Indian Health Services (IHS) Ambulance Center in partnership with Early Childhood Partners in Aberdeen, Tribal Environmental Health, Healthy Start, WIC Program, Tribal Health Education, Community Health Representative Program, Head Start Program, IHS, and Ride Safe to ensure the safety of all children riding in motor vehicles.

“The Tribal Environmental Health Program donated $2,000 during Child Passenger Safety Week to help fund 55 car seats,” stated Randolph Runs After, Tribal Environmental Health Program Specialist. “Our program provides general health and safety services.  We continue to focus strongly on seat belt surveillance, motor vehicle crashes, and last year we started an injury prevention task force; educating the public on the importance of child passenger safety.”  Of the 25 families that took advantage of the event, 23 received a new seat appropriate for the child’s height and weight.

Miss Click-It, also know as Sharmell Dahl, a 911 Communications Officer from the Watertown Police Department, traveled the region and spoke to 250 school-age children in Aberdeen and 400 children in Eagle Butte on the importance of riding in a safety seat and using a seat belt.

During Child Passenger Safety Week, the Governor’s Child Seat Program: Project 8, worked hard to remind all parents, child care providers, and other guardians to use the proper restraint system for their child’s height and weight.  Once a child reaches 40 pounds, a booster seat should be utilized until the child is at least 8 years old.  By then most children reach the proper height and weight requirements (4’9” and more than 80 pounds) to ride safely in a seatbelt.

Through education, training, and outreach, Project 8 provides parents and other guardians the awareness they need to keep their child safe and secure while driving.  To learn more about the Governor’s Child Seat Program: Project 8, visit www.state.sd.us/project8.