Child Passenger Safety Week
September 16, 2013
This week, September 15-21, is national Child Passenger Safety Week. The annual initiative helps raise awareness of the proper use and installation of car seats and booster seats for children. The safety campaign also encourages caregivers to have their children's car seats installed and inspected by a certified Child Passenger Safety (CPS) technician.
This year, the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning (OHSP) is reaching out to non-parental caregivers, including grandparents, who are responsible for safely transporting a child in a vehicle. The OHSP is encouraging certified CPS instructors and technicians across the state to partner with organizations serving seniors and other community groups to educate all caregivers about the importance of car seats.
"Car seats and car seat laws have changed significantly since most of today's grandparents brought home their first child," said Michael L. Prince, director of OHSP. "As more grandparents assume the role of primary or secondary caregiver it is important they remain up to date on the best practices for child passenger safety."
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 4.9 million children under age 18 live in grandparent-headed households. This is an increase from 4.5 million 10 years ago. For approximately 20 percent of these children, grandparents are responsible for their basic needs.
One key issue for most grandparents is the use of older car seats. Grandparents are more likely to purchase a car seat at garage sales or reuse old seats. Car seats should not be purchased secondhand because the history of the seat is unknown.
As a CPS resource for caregivers, OHSP has produced a Car Seat Basics flyer with information including the four steps for riding safely, common car seat mistakes and tips for purchasing car seats.
National Seat Check Saturday is September 21, 2013. For a list of Child Passenger Safety Week events in Michigan, see www.michigan.gov/ohsp. Also see Child Care Inspection Station Locator.
UMTRI Child Passenger Safety Best Practices website: www.cpsbestpractice.org.
Traffic safety outreach materials and tools: www.trafficsafetymarketing.gov/cps
Photo credit: NHTSA