Maui News

Hawai‘i Participates in National Child Passenger Safety Week

September 13, 2019, 7:28 AM HST
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Car seat Inspection. Photo by Wendy Osher.

The Hawaiʻi Department of Transportation (HDOT), together with all four county police departments and child passenger safety advocates, will participate in National Child Passenger Safety Week, Sept. 15 to 21, 2019.

This campaign is dedicated to helping parents and caregivers make sure their children ride as safely as possible – every trip, every time. Hawaiʻi’s child passenger safety technicians will be educating all parents and caregivers on correct usage of the right car seats or regular seat belts appropriate for their keiki’s ages and sizes. Child Passenger Safety Week is sponsored by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

“No matter their age, our keiki rely on us to keep them safe. When traveling, the best way to protect your children is to place them in the right car seat for their age and size and to install the seat correctly”, said Hawaiʻi Department of Transportation Director Jade Butay. “We, as a community, need to work to do more to eliminate all preventable tragedies.”

To keep all children safe, parents and caregivers should use a child safety seat that best fits their child and vehicle. To ensure that your child safety seat is installed correctly, we encourage the public to attend a free community car seat check event. On Sept. 21, 2019, National Seat Check Saturday, community car seat check events will be held at the following locations:

East Hawaiʻi 

Target, Kona

74-5455 Makala Blvd

9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Oʻahu 

Waipiʻo Shopping Center, Waipahu

94-1040 Waipiʻo Uka St.

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Maui

Maui Marketplace, Kahului

270 Dairy Road

10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Kauai

Walmart, Līhue

3-3300 Kūhiō Highway

9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

To support Child Passenger Safety Week, educational community events will also be held on Sept. 14 on Hawaiʻi Island and on Sept. 22 on Maui as follows:

West Hawaiʻi  (Saturday, Sept. 14)

Prince Kūhiō Plaza

111 East Puainako St.

10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Maui (Sunday, Sept. 22)

Queen Kaahumanu Center, Kahului

275 W Kaʻahumanu Ave

1 to 5 p.m.

In Hawaiʻi, children under 4 years old are required to ride in a child safety seat; children 4 through 7 years old must ride in a child passenger restraint or booster seat. Violators are required to appear in court, and if convicted, must attend a four-hour class. They may also be assessed a penalty of up to $500.

Parents and caregivers can check the following to determine when a child can be moved from a child safety seat to a booster seat:

  • The shoulder belt should lie snugly across the shoulder and chest, and not cross the neck or face.
  • The lap belt must lie snugly across the child’s upper thighs, not the stomach.
  • The child’s knees bend comfortably at the edge of the seat when his or her back and bottom are against the vehicle seat back.
  • The child can stay seated properly during the entire trip.

Child Passenger Safety Week is sponsored by NHTSA. For more on child safety, as well as a list of child restraint inspection stations and community car seat checks, visit www.kipchawaii.org or www.safercar.gov/parents

NHTSA recommends registering all car seats and booster seats with the manufacturer for a notification in the event of a recall. For more information on car seat safety and to locate a certified child passenger safety technician, visit www.nhtsa.gov/carseat

Hawaiʻi has more than 300 certified child passenger safety technicians, including firefighters, law enforcement officers, medical professionals and parents. All technicians have been trained to provide instruction on choosing the right car seat, installing it and using it correctly.

Nationwide child passenger safety statistics from NHTSA:

  • A child under 13 years old was involved in a passenger vehicle crash every 32 seconds in 2017.
  • From 2013 to 2017, there were 3,313 children under 13 killed while riding in passenger vehicles. Fatalities decreased in 2017 from 2016, the first decrease since 2014.
  • On average, nearly two children under 13 were killed every day in 2017 while riding in cars, SUVs, pickups and vans.
  • In 2017, over one-third (35 percent) of children under 13 killed in passenger vehicles were not restrained in car seats, booster seats or seat belts.
  • NHTSA’s latest research shows that nearly 2 out of 3 car seats are misused. When used correctly, car seats decrease the risk of fatal injury by 71 percent for infants and 54 percent for toddlers (1 to 4 years old) in cars, and by 58 percent and 59 percent, respectively, for infants and toddlers in light trucks.

Car seats, booster seats, and seat belts save lives

  • In 2017, among children under 5, car seats saved an estimated 312 lives. A total of 371 children could have survived if they had been buckled up 100-percent of the time.

Car seats work best when used correctly

  • In passenger cars, car seats reduce the risk of fatal injury by 71 percent for infants and by 54 percent for toddlers. For infants and toddlers in light trucks, the corresponding reductions were 58 percent and 59 percent, respectively.
  • Most parents are confident that they have correctly installed their child’s car seat, but in most cases (59%) the seat has not been installed correctly.
  • According to NHTSA data, in 2015, about 25.8 percent of children 4 to 7 years old were prematurely moved to seat belts, when they should have been riding in booster seats.

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