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The City of La Porte Emergency Medical Services (EMS) has taken aggressive steps to further protect our children by training paramedics on the proper installation of child safety seats. Our "Child Safety Seat Technicians" have passed a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration certification course and each are very willing to help ensure your child safety seat is properly installed.
Important (NHTSA) Facts:
- According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), approximately 7,500 lives have been saved by the proper use of child restraints during the past 20 years.
- Motor vehicle crashes still remain the number one killer of children ages 4 to 14 in America.
- In 2005, an average of five children ages 14 and younger were killed and 640 were injured in motor vehicle crashes every single day.
- Children ages 4 to 8 who use booster seats are 59 percent less likely to be injured in a car crash than children who are restrained only by a seat belt, according to a study by Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP).
- While 98 percent of America’s infants and 93 percent of children ages 1 to 3 are now regularly restrained, not enough children ages 4 through 7 are restrained properly for their size and age.
- Only 10 to 20 percent of children ages 4 through 7 who should be using booster seats to protect them are actually in them. This puts children at an unnecessary risk of being injured or killed in crashes because they are simply in the wrong restraint for their size and age.
- One study showed that children ages 2 to 5 who are moved to seat belts too early have 4 times the risk of a head injury in a crash.
- Children ages 4 through 7 are generally too small for adult seat belts and need a “boost” to ensure the seat belt will fit securely across their chests and low across the upper thighs —to help prevent internal injuries, neck, head and spinal injuries, and even ejection and death in the event of a crash.
- The use of booster seats compared to the use of adult seat belts alone lowers the risk of injury to children in crashes by 59 percent.
If They’re Under 4’9”, They NEED a Booster Seat
As children grow, how they need to be secured in a car, truck, van or SUV changes. For maximum child passenger safety, parents and caregivers simply need to remember and follow the 4 Steps for Kids:
- For the best possible protection keep infants in the back seat, in rear-facing child safety seats, as long as possible up to the height or weight limit of the particular seat. At a minimum, keep infants rear-facing until a minimum of age 1 and at least 20 pounds
- When children outgrow their rear-facing seats (at a minimum age 1 and at least 20 pounds) they should ride in forward-facing child safety seats, in the back seat, until they reach the upper weight or height limit of the particular seat (usually around age 4 and 40 pounds)
- Once children outgrow their forward-facing seat (usually around age 4 and 40 pounds), 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 fits across the chest (usually at age 8 or when they are 4’9” tall)
- When children outgrow their booster seats, (usually at age 8 or when they are 4’9” tall) they can use the adult seat belt in the back seat, if it fits properly (lap belt lays across the upper thighs and the shoulder belt across the chest)
Some parents or caregivers may regard booster seats as a hassle to use or a pain to convince their children to use. But protecting the ones we love means getting past the temporary complaints and perceived hassles because the lives of children really are at risk. Do it because you love them. Do it because it could save their lives. Make it the law of your car
Child Safety Seat Inspections are conducted by appointment only at the City of La Porte EMS Headquarters located at 10428 Spencer Hwy., La Porte, Texas, 77571. For more information, please e-mail Assistant Chief Lisa Camp or call her at (281) 471-9244.