PIERRE, S.D. –Members of the community are invited to have their child’s safety seat inspected to ensure it is properly installed during next week’s Capital for a Day events in Gettysburg. Trained technicians will be available in the parking lot north of the Gettysburg High School on Tuesday, Sept. 9 from 2:30-5:30 p.m.
“This is a great opportunity to educate parents, guardians and child care providers and to also ensure all child safety seats are installed properly,” said Deb Bowman, Secretary for the Department of Social Services. “Trained Child Passenger Safety Technicians will be on site and provide free child safety seat inspections for all who would like one.”
Project 8: Governor’s Car Seat Program began in July of 2005 to promote proper child seat use and installation. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that in 2007, only 37 percent of children ages 4-7 were restrained in booster seats. During that same time period, 91 percent of the child safety seats inspected in South Dakota were improperly installed.
The purpose of Project 8 is 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 eight 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. Project 8 also distributes infant seats, toddler seats, or booster seats to income eligible families throughout South Dakota. Program offices are located in the following communities: Rapid City, Pierre, Aberdeen, Brookings and Sioux Falls.
Child safety is important to Governor Rounds and the citizens of South Dakota. Additional steps must be taken to educate and train parents and guardians about proper child seat use and installation. Through education, training and outreach, South Dakota parents and caregivers can learn proper techniques for keeping their children safe while riding in a vehicle.
To learn more about Project 8 and the free child safety seat inspections occurring throughout the summer, please visit the program’s website at http://www.state.sd.us/project8/default.htm.