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Safety Officials pitch in for Child Passenger Safety Week

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Wilmington, NC (WWAY) – The Wilmington Police and Fire Departments are teaming up to help improve child safety.

In observance of “Child Passenger Safety Week” the departments are offered free car seat checks, as well as a bike skills course and hands only CPR training.

Officers say that learning small things could help save your child’s life in the event of an emergency.

"Four out of five people are installing car seats and don't realize that there is something wrong or it's not in correctly,” said Meg Langston of the Wilmington Fire Department. “We really encourage people to get their seats checked in their opportunities throughout New Hanover County. Lots of things that people don't realize are wrong are that their harness retainer clip, which is the little clip in their car seat, is not in the right place on their child or the seat belt is not locking in place and when they drive around it moves a little bit more than it should.”

North Carolina law requires that a child be restrained in a car until they’re at least eight years old or weigh more than eighty pounds.

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Extended Rear Facing Car Seats

I hope the educational offerings include the benefits of leaving your child in their car seat in the rear-facing position until they either outgrow the weight or height stated by their car seat manufacturer. This is a much safer way to travel for the little ones.

http://www.cpsafety.com/articles/stayrearfacing.aspx

Both the American Acadamy of Pediatrics & the National Highway Traffic Safety Association recommend extended rear-facing.

In Sweden, it is standard practice to keep their children rear-facing up to the age of 5, or as much as 55 lbs. From 1992 through June 1997, only 9 children properly restrained rear-facing died in motor vehicle crashes in Sweden, and all of these involved catastrophic crashes with severe intrusion and few other survivors. Larger Swedish child restraints are designed to accommodate these larger children. US-certified restraints can be used rear-facing until the maximum weight limit is reached or until the top of the child's head is within one inch of the top of the seat, whichever comes first.

In the US, motor vehicle crashes are the number one cause of death for children. The extra protection offered by rear-facing seats is something that parents should take advantage of as long as possible.