Project 8 urges parents and caregivers to have child safety seats inspected
Free inspections offered as part of National Seat Check Saturday, National Child Passenger Safety Week
PIERRE, S.D. – Across the United States, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for children ages 3 to 6 and 8 to 14. To ensure child safety seats are properly installed, Project 8, South Dakota’s child safety seat program, is urging all parents and caregivers to attend a free safety seat check as part of Child Passenger Safety Week (September 12-18).
According the National Highway Safety Administration, an estimated 358 children under age 5 were saved by using child safety seats and booster seats in 2007. Research shows that child restraints provide the best protection for all children up to age 8; after age 8 seat belts provide the best protection. In South Dakota, 86 percent of the inspected seats were improperly installed in 2008.
Project 8 will join with the South Dakota Department of Public Safety, Office of Highway Safety during National Child Passenger Safety Week to host free seat checks events across South Dakota. In addition, September 12 has been designated as the third annual National Seat Check Saturday. Certified technicians will be available to provide on-site seat inspections and education in the following communities:
Project 8, the Governor’s Car Seat Program, began in July of 2005. The program educates parents, child care providers, and other guardians about using 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.
If you are unable to attend a scheduled seat check event, contact your nearest regional Project 8 office to schedule an appointment. To view a list of regional offices or to learn more about Project 8, visit the program’s website at http://www.state.sd.us/project8/ or contact Communications Director Tarah Jahnig at (605) 773-3165.