Car crashes are a leading cause of preventative death for children. On average, two children under 13 were killed and an estimated 374 were injured every day in 2019 while riding in cars, SUVs, pickups and vans. To bring attention to this issue, Child Passenger Safety Awareness Week is Sept. 18-24.
608 child passenger vehicle occupants died in traffic crashes in 2019.
38 percent of children who died in 2019 while riding in passenger vehicles were unrestrained, compared to 33 percent in 2018.
Correctly used child safety seats and booster seats can reduce the risk of death by as much as 71 percent.
More than half are not used or installed correctly.
“Child Passenger Awareness Week highlights the importance of ensuring that all children are properly secured in an appropriate car seat or booster seat,” said McMinnville Police officer Mark Mara.
When it comes to child safety, it is better to be safe than sorry. Factors, such as a child’s age, weight and height must also be taken into account when determining proper safety harnesses. Buying the right car seat, installing it accurately, getting the right fit, and when to change the car seat are all important aspects.
McMinnville Police Department, McMinnville Fire Department, Warren County Sheriff’s Department and Tennessee Highway Patrol have combined efforts to educate parents and guardians in an effort to reduce the risk of child injury during crashes. Each has individuals trained to inspect car seats and booster seats.
A free inspection will be held Wednesday, Sept. 21 at Warehouse Discount Groceries, from 2 to 4 p.m.
“I can’t stress enough that these events are about safety and not enforcement,” said Mara. “This isn’t about writing citations. This is about keeping children safe. Don’t wait until you’re involved in a crash to find out if the car seat wasn’t correct.”
New car seats are available for those that fail inspection and meet the qualifications for replacement. Additionally, Hardee’s has provided coupons for a free order of fries and WDG has provided free freezer pops – both will be given away during the event.