Safe Kids USA will check thousands of child safety seats nationwide this week and will conclude National Child Passenger Safety Week (Sept. 19-25) with a signature event on “Seat Check Saturday” for families and their children at the General Motors Technical Center.
Seat Check Saturday is a national activity of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, held at the end of National Child Passenger Safety Week on Sept. 25. Safe Kids’ coalitions around the country are holding more than 400 inspection events during the week, including 170 events on Seat Check Saturday.?
“Safe Kids USA is very pleased to host our capstone event for Child Passenger Safety Week at the engineering epicenter of General Motors,” said Torine Creppy, Director of Safe Kids USA Buckle Up programs. “Since the program began in 1997, our partnership with General Motors and the General Motors Foundation has resulted in 1.3 million car seats checked at about 65,000 car seat checkup events around the country.”
Safe Kids Buckle Up, the child passenger safety program of Safe Kids USA in partnership with the General Motors Foundation, hosts child safety seat checkups and other vehicle safety events throughout the year. Through the generosity of the General Motors Foundation, Safe Kids has reached more than 21 million people and donated more than 457,000 car seats to families in need.
The Warren, Mich. event will be held at the GM Technical Centers Vehicle Engineering Center, 30001 Van Dyke road (enter at Gate 11) from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Certified child passenger safety technicians from Safe Kids Macomb County, will inspect and help assure child safety seats are properly installed for families from local Head Start Centers, Selfridge Air National Guard, the Michigan WIC (Women, Infant and Children) program and the general public.
Parents and caregivers can find additional Safe Kids Buckle Up seat check events by visiting the Safe Kids web-site at http://www.safekids.org/.
“Safe Kids USA’s Safe Kids Buckle Up program is one of the most significant ongoing activities supported by the GM Foundation,” said John Montford, Foundation Chairman. “Families have always been a key target for this program, and we are pleased that Head Start centers in the area are able to take advantage of the expert service provided by the technicians who are conducting this event”.
Research from NHTSA shows that roughly 3 out of 4 child safety seats are not used properly and as children age they are less likely to be in the appropriate child safety seat for their age and weight.
Parents and caregivers should follow a few basic guidelines to determine which restraint system is best suited to protect their children in a vehicle:
- For the best possible protection, keep infants in a back seat, in rear-facing child safety seats, as long as possible—up to the height or weight limit of the particular seat. Never turn a child forward-facing before age 1 and at least 20 pounds, although keeping kids rear-facing until at least age 2 is safer and preferred if the seat allows.
- When children outgrow their rear-facing seats, they should ride in forward-facing child safety seats, in a back seat, until they reach the upper weight or height limit of the particular harnessed seat. Many newer seats exceed the old 40 pound weight limit.
- Once children outgrow their forward-facing seats, they should ride in booster seats, in the back seat, until the vehicle seat belts fit properly.
- Seat belts fit properly when the lap belt lays across the upper thighs and the shoulder belt rests on the shoulder or collar bone (usually when the child is between 8 and 12 years old, approximately 4’9” tall and 80 to 100 pounds).
About Safe Kids USA
Safe Kids USA is a member of Safe Kids Worldwide, a global network of organizations with the mission of preventing unintentional childhood injury, the leading cause of death and disability to children ages 1 to 14. More than 600 coalitions in the United States and nineteen member countries worldwide bring together health and safety experts, educators, corporations, foundations, governments and volunteers to educate and protect families.
About General Motors Foundation
Since its inception in 1976, the GM Foundation has donated hundreds of millions to deserving American charities and to disaster relief efforts worldwide. The GM Foundation focuses on Education, Health and Human Services, Environment and Energy and Community Development initiatives, mainly in the communities where GM operates. For more information, visit www.gm.com/corporate/responsibility/community.
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