PIERRE, S.D. -- Project 8, South Dakota’s Child Seat Program, is urging parents and caregivers to make sure their child safety seats are properly installed during National Child Passenger Safety Week, September 18-24, 2011.
During Child Passenger Safety Week, Certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians and Certified Child Passenger Safety Instructors through Project 8 are working hard to remind all parents, child care providers, and other guardians to use the proper restraint system for their child’s age and size.
In South Dakota in 2010, 85 percent of the seats inspected were improperly installed. South Dakota’s Child Seat Program, Project 8, is urging all parents and caregivers to attend the Fifth Annual “National Seat Check Saturday” on Saturday, September 24, 2011 in any one of the following communities.
- Aberdeen from 1–5 p.m. CT at Sanford CHILD Services, 110 6th Ave SE
- Sioux Falls from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. CT at Sioux Falls Ford Lincoln, 4101 W 41st Street
- Pierre from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. CT at State Farm Insurance parking lot, 1315 E. Wells Ave.
In addition to the events held on September 24, Project 8 will have certified technicians available to provide free on-site child safety seat inspections and education in the following communities in South Dakota to commemorate the week:
- September 20 in Brookings from 3–6 p.m. CT at Brookings Radio, 227 22nd Avenue
- September 20 in Isabel from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. MT at Isabel Community Health Office, 118 North Main Street
- September 20 in Timber Lake from 4-6 p.m. MT at Timberlake Community Daycare, 606 Main Street
- September 22 in Rapid City from 3 – 6 p.m. MT at Robbinsdale Park, 631 East Oakland Street
For maximum child passenger safety, parents and caregivers should visit their local inspection stations and refer to the following guidelines for determining which restraint system is best suited to protect children based on their age and size. Remember: All children younger than 13 should ride in the back seat.
- Birth – 12 months: For the best possible protection, your child under age 1 should always ride in a rear-facing car seat. There are different types of rear-facing car seats: infant-only 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.
- 1 – 3 years: Your child should remain in a rear-facing car seat until he or she reaches the top height or weight limit allowed by your car seat’s manufacturer. This may result in many children riding rear-facing to age 2 or older. 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.
- 8 – 12 years: Keep your child in a booster seat until he or she is big enough to fit in a seat belt properly. 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 snugly across the shoulder and chest and not cross the neck or face.
Project 8 also distributes infant seats, toddler seats, and booster seats to income eligible families throughout South Dakota.
Contact Emily Kiel, Department of Social Services’ Communications Director at (605) 773-3165 for more information on Child Passenger Safety Week or visit http://project8.sd.gov to learn more about South Dakota’s Child Seat Program, Project 8.
For more information on Child Passenger Safety Week and to find the car seat inspection station nearest you, visit www.nhtsa.gov. For live updates follow @childseatsafety on Twitter or join the community of parents, advocates and safety experts on www.facebook.com/childp assengersafety