Report: 98 percent of caregivers make car seat mistakes

BRYAN, Tex. (KBTX) - While 98 percent of caregivers make at least one mistake when installing and/or using a child’s car seat, there is help available in the Brazos Valley.

A car seat check-up event is being held at the Brazos Center on Tuesday, Sept. 17, 3 – 6 p.m. You can reserve an appointment at 979-862-4658 or click here.

The event is sponsored by the law firm of Daniel Stark in partnership with the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Passenger Safety Project and the Brazos Valley Injury Prevention Coalition in cooperation with the Texas Department of Transportation and the TxDOT Bryan District.

On First News at Four, Cindy Kovar with the Brazos Valley Injury Prevention Coalition joined First News at Four to play a game of “Right or Wrong: Car Seat Edition,” which you can watch in the video player above.

If you are unable to attend the car-seat check event, call BVIPC at 979.862.1921 to schedule a free appointment with a car-seat specialist.

More information on National Child Passenger Safety Week is below:

National Child Passenger Safety Week is held to educate parents and caregivers about choosing the right car seat for a child, installing that seat correctly in their vehicle, and using that seat correctly every time. This year it is September 15-21, 2019.

During National Child Passenger Safety week many communities across the country will have certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians on hand to provide free education on how to use car seats, booster seats, and seat belts.

KEY STATISTICS
Lives lost and injuries
• Car crashes are one of the leading causes of death for children.
• Every 32 seconds in 2017, one child under the age of 13 in a passenger vehicle was involved in a crash.
• Most crashes happen close to home.

Car seats, booster seats, and seat belts save lives
• In 2017, among children under 5, car seats saved an estimated 312 lives. A total of 371 children could have survived if they had been buckled up 100-percent of the time.

Car seats work best when used correctly
• Most parents are confident that they have correctly installed their child’s car seat, but in most cases the seat has not been installed correctly. In the experience of the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Passenger Safety Project the misuse rate is as high as 98%.

Child passenger safety laws
• The law in Texas is simple – children under 8 unless taller than 4’9” need to be in a car seat according to manufacturer’s instructions.
• However, the law is just the minimum and does not represent best practice. Most 8-year-old children do not fit the adult seat belt. Putting a child in a seat belt too soon can cause serious injuries or even death when the lap belt rides over the soft tissues of the abdomen. It is not until sometime between the ages of 8 and 12 that most children will fit. A booster seat is needed until children correctly fit the seat belt.

Car seat technicians will be emphasizing these important points:

• Keep children rear-facing to the maximum height and weight limit of the rear-facing convertible seat which is at least 40 lbs.
• Keep children in a forward-facing harness until they reach the maximum height and weight limit of the seat
• Tethers should be used for forward-facing car seats.

• When children have outgrown their forward-facing harnessed seat and are at least 4 years old, 40 pounds and mature enough to stay in place for the entire ride, they can move to a booster seat.
• Keep children in booster seats until they fit the adult seat belt – usually between the ages of 8 and 12
• All children under 13 should always ride in the back seat.