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Safety seats are not optional

Statistics have shown that motor vehicle accidents are the number one killer of children between the ages of 0 to 14 years old.

Wednesday, February 14, 2001

Statistics have shown that motor vehicle accidents are the number one killer of children between the ages of 0 to 14 years old.

Often times, these deaths are caused by either the child not being restrained or being restrained improperly.

Feb. 11-17 has been proclaimed Child Safety Week nationwide. During this week, law enforcement agencies throughout the U.S. – including those in Lawrence County – will address this issue through education and stepped-up enforcement.

According to statistics, about 16 million children are treated in hospitals in the U.S. each year for injuries resulting from accidents. About 10,000 of these children will suffer permanent brain damage as a result.

Unfortunately, it’s not always neglect. Many of these injuries occur because, unbeknownst to the parents, the child is improperly secured.

In Ohio, child seats are mandatory for children under four-years of age or who weigh under 40 pounds. These children should also always ride in the back seat of a motor vehicle.

Infants should always ride facing the rear of the vehicle. Infants are safest when riding facing the rear because the back of the safety seat supports the child’s back, neck and head in a crash.

It is also recommended that all children under 12 should ride buckled in the rear seat. The reason behind this is smaller individuals are more likely to be seriously injured or killed by an inflating air bag.

For more child safety seat tips, visit the web sites of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration at www.nhtsa.dot.gov or Baby First, Inc. at www.baby-first.com.

Remember, your child’s life is in your hands.