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This year, 2017, was the first for Child Passenger Safety Week in California, a new initiative from Senator Bill Dodd that will now happen every third week of September. The resolution passed state legislature in September with bipartisan support, following an in-depth look at the dangers of improperly restraining child passengers. Child passenger safety is an extremely important topic that all parents and guardians should be aware of. This new initiative may help parents and guardians in California reduce the number of children injured and killed in car accidents every year.
Car accidents are a leading cause of child injury and death in the U.S. According to research from AAA (one of the sponsors of the resolution), parents incorrectly install or use child restraints about 90% of the time. An estimated 71% of small children who died in fatal crashes may have survived had they been properly restrained in car seats. Proper safety restraint can prevent critical injuries in children during accidents, keeping them in place and safe from impacts or movements that can cause fatal injuries. They can prevent fatal spinal, head, and brain injuries.
There are certain child restraint habits and procedures that improve the safety of children in accidents. Children should be buckled up during every single ride, no matter how short the distance. Children should sit in the right restraint system for their height, weight, and age. Each system will state what these limits are. Using a size-appropriate system is extremely important in how well it will work during an accident. Car seats, booster seats, and seat belts can reduce the risk of serious injuries and death by more than 50%. Learning about how to use these systems properly is vital in increasing child passenger safety.
Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 77 contains the details of Child Passenger Safety Week. It begins with the statistic that automobile collisions in the U.S. account for 25% of all unintentional injury deaths in children and take the lives of more than 50 California children under the age of 14 every year. The goal of the Week will be to educate and inform parents, encourage them to visit free car seat inspection centers, and reduce the number of children injured and killed in car accidents in California.
Child Passenger Safety Week will involve communities, healthcare organizations, specialists, child safety advocates, and law enforcement agencies. Parents can participate in educational activities and programs throughout California, most of which will be free. These activities will help spread awareness and educate guardians on proper child restraint systems. Events will take place across the state, along with free car seat inspection appointments at a variety of locations, every third week of September.
Senator Bill Dodd stated, “I have six grandchildren, all of different ages and heights, and I know the importance of correctly installing car and booster seats.” Many parents move their children to booster seats too soon, when the child is not yet big enough. He believes that helping guardians properly use child safety systems through Child Passenger Safety Week will reduce the number of child deaths and injuries. The child injury lawyers at The Law Offices of Howard Kitay are here to help parents after accidents involving injured children.