By Neil Townley, 17th Training Wing Safety
/ Published December 08, 2009
GOODFELLOW AFB, Texas --
Vehicle crashes remain the number one killer of children ages 2-14 in the United States. Knowing how to properly secure your child in their child safety seat can prevent these needless deaths. That's where the wing safety office and the Safe Kids Coalition Buckle Up events come in to play.
On Dec. 3, Catie Weidenhofer, the San Angelo regional coordinator for these events, held a child safety seat workshop in the commissary parking lot. Besides braving the 40 degree temperatures, the primary focus was to ensure that parents were properly fastening their children in their seats. The national average for improperly fastened child seats is almost 80 percent, while Goodfellow's percentage has been as high as 100. Parents were able to bring their children by to verify that they were properly fastened, and if not, one of the child seat technicians would educate the parent on what to do. This event didn't stop just at education either. Seats were checked to see if they were outdated or subject to any recalls and if so, they were replaced free of charge.
1. For infants, use a rear-facing car seat for 1-year-old children who are 20 pounds. Use your rear-facing car seat longer if the seat has higher weight and height limits.
2. For toddlers, use a forward-facing car seat until the harness no longer fits.
3. For booster seats use them with the vehicle lap and shoulder safety belts until your child passes the Safety Belt Fit Test (which can be found at: http://www.usa.safekids.org/skbu/cps/safetyBelts.html). Texas law requires children to use a booster seat until they are 8-years-old or 4 feet 9 inches tall.