(BLOOMINGTON) - According to data collected by The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in 2013, safety restraints aren't properly used for 33 percent of United States children between the ages of 4- and 7-years- old.
Riley Physicians, in partnership with the NHTSA and the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute (ICJI), is offering free car seat safety checks to help the public learn to better protect children while they're in vehicles.
Car seat safety checks are free, can help protect children and are easy to schedule. Interested adults are two steps away from their car seat safety check:
1. Call (812) 333-2304
2. Sign up for an available time that fits your schedule
"We offer these safety checks to new parents, caregivers, babysitters, grandparents and more," said Jennifer Hacker, Child Passenger Safety Technician. "Even experienced parents may want a refresher course. We welcome anyone who may need to transport a child to sign up for a free car seat safety check."
People interested in the safety checks will need to bring four things with them to the appointment:
1. Car seat and vehicle instruction manuals
2. The car seat
3. The vehicle
4. The child (preferred, but not necessary)
This gives the instructor important information on some major variables that affect the safety of the child while they're in the vehicle. The safety restraint options are rear-facing car seat, forward-facing car seat, booster seat and seat belt. As children graduate to different steps, they lose valuable protection. So it's important to not move children to another option until they meet the recommended height and weight requirements.
All children less than 8 years of age are required by Indiana's child passenger safety law to be properly restrained in a federally approved child restraint system. Children should be in the back seat until at least the age of 12. An authorized child seat inspection station can provide free inspections, valuable information and resources to help keep your child safe.
For more information on Indiana's child passenger seat law, please visit: http://www.in.gov/cji/2383.htm. For a complete list of child seat inspection stations by county offered throughout the state, visit: http://www.childseat.in.gov. To learn more about IU Health Southern Indiana Physicians, please visit: iuhealth.org/southern-indiana-physicians.
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