Motor vehicle crashes are one of the primary causes of death and injury to children four years of age and younger. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has concluded that safety seats are 71% effective in preventing fatalities, 67% effective in reducing the need for hospitalization and 50% effective in preventing minor injury.
Unfortunately, non-use and misuse of child safety seats are a major concern. In spite of Oregonís Child Restraint Law (ORS 811.210 and 811.215), we continue to witness violations in the course of our emergency response activities. In a concerted effort to stem this tide of extreme risk to the well-being of children traveling in automobiles, Ashland Fire & Rescue conducts free child safety seat inspection services for the general public with a scheduled appointment. Please call 541-482-2770 for more information.
If you transport children under the age of five in your car, you should ask yourself the following questions:
1. Does your child ride in the back seat?
2. Does your child ride facing the right way?
3. Does the safety belt hold the seat tightly in place?
4. Is the harness buckled snugly around your child?
5. Does your child over 40 pounds have the best protection possible?
How should a safety belt fit an older child?
The child must be tall enough to sit without slouching, with knees bent at the edge of the seat. The lap belt must fit low and snug across the upper thighs. The shoulder belt should fit over the shoulder and across the chest. Never put the shoulder belt under the arm or behind the back.
Never use a booster seat with only a lap belt! Although two shoulder belts have been required in vehicle back seats since 1989, many families have cars with lap-only belts in the center or older cars with no rear shoulder belts.