The Child Safety Seat and Survival Connection
Motor vehicle crashes are the number one cause of death among children ages 1 to 19. When installed and used correctly, child safety seats can reduce fatal injury by up to 71 percent for infants and 54 percent for toddlers. Keeping our kids safe on and off our roadways is a community concern. While 96 percent of parents and caregivers believe their child safety seats are installed correctly, research shows that seven out of 10 children are improperly restrained. That is why the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office sends selected Deputies to receive training and certification in the installation of Child Safety Seats. Once certified Deputies are able to take their training out into the community and partner with community members to ensure their children are safe while travelling on our roadways.
On June 22, 2013, from 9:00 am to noon, members of the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office hosted a Child Safety Seat checkpoint in front of the Sheriff’s Office at the request of The Town of Leonardtown. Numerous vehicles stopped in to the checkpoint and Sheriff’s Deputy’s were on site to check already installed child safety seats, ensure they were properly installed and provided hands on training and feedback for community members.
Q: What should parents expect when they get their child’s safety seat inspected?
A. Certified technicians will conduct the child safety seat inspection. The certified inspector will:
· Check the child safety seat to see that it has been properly installed.
· Remove and inspect the child safety seat for damage.
· Diagnose problems.
· Ensure the child safety seat is not a recalled model.
· Get information about children riders from the vehicle owner (size and weight of child, etc.)
· Ensure the child safety seat is appropriate for the size and age of the child.
· Teach the auto owner the correct procedure to properly and safely install the child safety seat in his or her auto.
· Show the parent or caregiver how to secure the child in the seat.
· Discuss other vehicles and safety seats they own, and provide instructions to repeat the correct procedure with other seats or when installing the seat in other cars.
Maryland’s Child Passenger Safety Laws
Transportation Article 22-412.2 (Child Restraints)
Maryland’s law (effective October, 2012) requires that:
· Children under eight years old are to ride in an appropriate child restraint,* unless the child is 4’9” or taller.
Child restraint includes car seats and booster seats and other federally approved safety devices.
· Every child from 8 to 16 years old who is not secured in a child restraint must be secured in the vehicle’s seat belt, in every seating position in the vehicle.
· This law is applicable to in-state and out-of-state vehicles.
· It is the driver’s responsibility for making sure all children are correctly buckled up
If you are interested in hosting a Child Seat Safety Checkpoint or would like more information regarding Child Safety Seats, visit www.safekids.org or contact the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office Traffic Enforcement Division, Attention Dfc. Kevin Meyer at 301-475-4200.