Tyrone Hospital promotes National Child Passenger Safety Week February 13-19

The healthcare professionals at Tyrone Hospital want to make sure children are as safe as possible when traveling in vehicles. Child Passenger Safety Week, February 13-19, is a good time for parents to review their child’s safety in the family vehicle.
Tyrone Hospital wants every family to remember that the theme, promoted by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation this special week, “Life is Precious…Buckle Up!”, promotes child passenger safety, as well as seat belt use for pre-teens, teenagers and adults.
Under Pennsylvania’s child passenger safety law, all drivers are responsible for securing children in the appropriate child restraint system. All children from birth up to age four must be secured in an approved child safety seat anywhere in the vehicle.
Violators of this primary law are subject to a fine of up to $100 plus Court Costs, EMS, Cat Fund, and Administrative Fees, bringing the ticket up to $180.
All children age four up to age eight must be secured in a seat belt system and appropriate child booster seat anywhere in the vehicle. Violators of this secondary law are subject to a fine up to $100 plus EMS, Cat Fund, and Administrative fees, bringing the ticket up to $150.
All children age eight up to age 18 must be secured in a seat belt system anywhere in the vehicle. Violators of this secondary law are subject to a $10 fine plus EMS, Cat Fund, and Administrative Fees, bringing the ticket total to $60.
Proper use of car seats and seat belts is critical. National data shows that preteens or “tweens” between the ages of eight and 12 are less likely to be buckled up than younger children.
Tyrone Hospital has child passenger safety advice for parents and guardians of older children:
* Involve “tweens” in family discussions about safety in all motor vehicles.
* Teach children that safety belts save lives and that an unbuckled passenger is likely to injure others.
* Make sure the shoulder belt fits correctly across the center of the chest and collarbone, and the lap belt remains low and snug across the hips/upper thighs and that good posture is maintained.
* Teach children to counter peer pressure with the facts.
* Make sure that other drivers have the same rules as you do and enforce them in their vehicles if car-pooling.
* Limit the number of passengers you transport to avoid driver distraction.
* Involve your children in family discussions and setting of ‘house and car rules”. Discuss who the children are allowed to ride in a car with, when a child should refuse a ride and that buckling up is required.
These rules should help you use your car seat correctly:
* Read both the car seat instructions and the vehicle owner’s manual before installing car seats.
* All children under 13 should ride in the back seat.
* When installing your child’s car seat place your weight on the car seat. Lock the seat belt according to the vehicle’s instructions on the seat belt or in the owner’s manual. Check the installation and allow no more than one inch of side-to-side or forward movement.
* Infants should ride rear facing and semi reclined to no more than 45 degrees, until at least age one and 20 pounds. The American Academy of pediatrics recommends keeping children rear-facing to the highest weight or height allowed by the child safety seat’s manufacturer.
Remember NEVER place a rear-facing infant in front of a passenger side air bag. Place the harness in the slots at or below the shoulders. Tighten the harness until it lies in a relatively straight line without any slack or sagging but not so tight as to press into the child’s body causing discomfort. Adjust the chest clip on the harness to armpit level (if manufacturer provides one).
* Toddlers ride forward facing and upright once they reach at least age one and 20 pounds. Children should stay in the forward facing seat with a harness until they are 40 pounds. Place the harness through the top reinforced slots on the seat (unless instructions say otherwise). Tighten the harness until it lies in a relatively straight line without any slack or sagging as indicated above.
* NHTSA recommends that all children who have outgrown child safety seats be properly restrained in a booster seat until they are at least eight-years-old, and approximately four feet nine inches tall. Use the belt positioning booster seat with a lap and shoulder belt properly adjusted to fit a small child over the hips and shoulder.
* Children should stay in a belt positioning booster seat until the lap and shoulder belt fit them correctly.
* For children age eight through adult, it is important to use a properly positioned seat belt. Properly positioned means that the shoulder belt is across the shoulder and the lap belt is low and snug across the hips. NEVER place a shoulder belt behind the back or under the arm.
* Buckle up every time, every ride.
For more information about child passenger safety call 1-800-car-belt.