The Department of Transportation is launching a new campaign to raise awareness of how to choose the right size safety seat and how to correctly use the seats.
The lives of children are saved every year by child safety seats. There were almost 9,000 confirmed instances when a child’s life was saved because he or she was properly secured in a seat made for their body size between 1975 and 2008. Those statistics come from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Laws mandating that children ride only when secured in a safety seat have not proven to be enough. NHTSA studies have shown that as many as three out of every four children are not as secure as they should be in the car because their seats are not the right size or they are not being used correctly.
The NHTSA has launched its new campaign to help parents and caregivers get children correctly strapped in to the right sized seat. This includes rear-facing seats, booster seats forward-facing seats and even seat belts.
“The Right Seat” campaign is a series of public service announcements and billboards, along with a new website helping show parents how to choose the right seat for their child and properly strap them into that seat.
The television and radio commercials have been recoded in English and in Spanish.
The new website has resources and tools for helping caregivers and parents keep children safe in and around cars.
Motor vehicle crashes are the No. 1 threat to the life of a child. It is the leading cause of death for children between one and 12 years old, according to the Department of Transportation. More than 4,000 children under 12 were killed in car crashes in the United States between 2006 and 2010. More than a half million children were injured in that same time frame, according to DOT data. The campaign to help get children in the right sized car seat is aimed at this at-risk group.
The NHTSA has been putting together advertising campaigns with the Ad Council for more than 25 years. In that time campaigns have been targeted at specific stages of child safety seats like booster seats or the LATCH system. This is the first campaign to address getting children in the correct seat.
“Safety is our top priority for everyone on our roadways, and we’re calling on parents to do everything they can to protect our most vulnerable passengers,” said Department of Transportation Secretary LaHood. “The new public service announcement and website will help parents understand the differences in child safety seats, make sure they choose the right seat for their child, and properly secure them every time they get behind the wheel.”
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