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Georgia kicks off National Child Passenger Safety Week
child car seat
The Governor’s Office of Highway Safety and the Georgia Department of Public Health remind all parents and caregivers that Child Passenger Safety (CPS) Week is the perfect time to make sure their child is riding in a properly installed safety or booster seat.

Local health departments, sheriff's offices, police departments, Safe Kids chapters and other partners will host free car seat checks and classes across the state during CPS week, which begins on September 15 and culminates with National Seat Check Saturday on September 21.
 
“Child passenger safety seats are designed to protect our youngest passengers in the event of a crash, but these seats cannot work as designed when they are not installed correctly,” Governor’s Office of Highway Safety Director Allen Poole said. “We want to ensure all the children who are under eight years of age are riding in a correctly installed safety seat that is appropriate for their age and size.”
 
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data shows nearly half (46 percent) of all child passenger safety seats are misused. In addition, children under 13 were involved in a traffic crash every 32 seconds in 2017.

Georgia state law requires child passengers to be restrained in a car seat or booster seat appropriate for their height and weight until the age of 8. Why? Because research shows car seats reduce the risk of fatal injury by 71 percent with infants and 54 percent with toddles in passenger vehicles. NHTSA data estimates 16 lives were saved by proper restraint use in Georgia alone of passengers age 4 and under in 2017.

"During CPS Week, we encourage everyone to contact their local health department, law enforcement agency and/or Safe Kids chapter to find a car seat check event near you," Poole said. "If you are not able to make a seat check in your community during CPS week, contact the fitting station or Georgia State Patrol post in your community to schedule an appointment.  You can schedule an appointment any time during the year.” 

NHTSA recommends keeping children rear-facing as long as possible, up to the top height or weight allowed by their particular seat. Once a child outgrows the rear-facing-only “infant” car seat, he/she should travel in a rear-facing “convertible,” or all-in-one car seat. Once a child outgrows the rear-facing size limits, the child is ready to travel in a forward-facing car seat with a harness. After outgrowing the forward-facing car seat with harness, children should be placed in booster seats until they’re the right size to use seatbelts safely. And if children are under 13 years old, they should always sit in the back seat.

Georgia parents and caregivers can also visit https://www.gahighwaysafety.org/campaigns/child-safety-seat-fitting-locations/ to find a fitting station near them where they can have their car seats checked.

For more information on child passenger safety in Georgia, visit the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety website at www.gahighwaysafety.org or GOHS social media at www.facebook.com/gahighwaysafety and "gohsgeorgia" on Twitter and Instagram.

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