Car Seat Safety
As soon as a baby is born, his or her parents take on the role of protector, doing whatever is possible to keep their child safe from harm. However, as soon as they leave the hospital, they place their infant in one of the most dangerous environments…the car. Sadly, automobile accidents are the leading cause of accidental death in children under the age of 14.
North Metro Fire’s Car Seat Inspection Program
The good news is that having a properly fitted car seat is a child’s best defense, reducing the risk of fatal injury by 71 percent for infants and by 54 percent for toddlers (Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration). However, with all of the car seat options and child safety laws, it can be overwhelming for parents to make the right choices. North Metro Fire Rescue District’s Car Seat Inspection Program serves families in Broomfield and Northglenn by providing car seat inspections and safety education on a monthly basis.
Parents, grandparents and caregivers can make an appointment to ensure their car seat is properly installed and fitted to the child by a certified child passenger safety technician at the fire station. Appointments are free to all North Metro Fire residents and are available on the first and third Saturdays of every month from 9 a.m. to noon. Residents can schedule their car seat inspection by calling North Metro Fire at 303-452-9910.
Safety Tips for Parents
According to the law, every child under 8 years of age shall be properly restrained in a child restraint system based on the manufacturer’s instructions. A child’s height, weight and age are important factors that guide which type of restraint is appropriate to use. All children under the age of one should be in a rear-facing car seat in the back seat of the vehicle. While children should remain in a rear-facing car seat for as long as possible for the best protection, parents can also opt for a forward-facing car seat once the child exceeds the height or weight limit in their rear-facing car seat.
Once a child outgrows a car seat, he or she is ready to transition to a booster seat. Children ages 4 to 7 and less than 4’9” tall who use booster seats are 45% less likely to be injured in a crash compared children who are restrained only by seat belts (Source: Colorado Dept. of Transportation). By properly following the instructions for the car seat or booster as well as child safety laws, parents can better protect their children from injury while in the car.
Additionally, there are several great resources online to help parents choose the right car seat or booster for their child and to learn about additional safety measures when in the car. Check out these federal and state resources: