ALTUS, OK (KSWO) - According to the U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 59 percent of car seats are misused. To help combat the issue, Altus Fire Department will participate in Child Passenger Safety Week, a campaign dedicated to helping parents and caregivers make sure their children ride as safely as possible, every trip, every time.
Safe Kids Oklahoma urges parents and caregivers to make sure their car seats and booster seats are properly installed on "National Seat Check Saturday." On Saturday, September 24, from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., the Altus Fire Department and Jackson Co. Health Department will have certified child passenger safety technicians available to provide hands-on instruction on installing car and booster seats at Altus Fire Sub Station #1 located at 1915 North Main Street.
"Every 33 seconds, a child under 13 is involved in a crash," said Altus Fire Chief Kyle Davis "Using car seats that are age and size appropriate is the best way to keep your child safe. Motor vehicle crashes are a leading killer of children and car seats, booster seats, and seat belts can make all the difference."
He added that too often, parents move their children to the front seat before they should, which increases the risk of injury and death. The safest place for all kids under 13 is in the back seats of cars. Also, according to NHTSA, about 24 percent of children ages 4 to 7 who should be riding in booster seats were prematurely moved to seat belts, and 9 percent were unbuckled altogether.
"It's our job to keep our children safe," he said. "Get your car seats checked. Make certain they're installed correctly, that your kids are in the right seats and are buckled in correctly. Even if you think your child is safe, check again, so you can be sure that your child is the safest he or she can be while traveling."
For more information, contact the Altus Fire Department at 580-481-2231.