Poughkeepsie…Dutchess County Executive William R. Steinhaus and the Dutchess County Traffic Safety Board have announced National Child Passenger Safety Week is September 21st through 27th, 2008. The goal of National Child Passenger Safety week is to bring public attention to the importance of safely transporting children. The Dutchess County Traffic Safety Board will host Child Safety Car Seat Check event on Saturday, September 20th at the Mid Hudson Plaza (located across from Marist College) from 10am to 3pm.
“Three out of four parents report they do not know how to use child restraints properly, according to national statistics. To get out the important safety message about proper use of child restraints, members of our Dutchess County Child Passenger Safety Coalition will be hosting this event to provide installation guidance and safety education to parents and caregivers,” said County Executive Steinhaus.
Nationally certified child passenger safety technicians will be on hand at the event to ensure child safety seats are properly installed and provide parents & caregivers information about how to properly make the transitions between infant and toddler car seats, booster seats, and regular seat belts. By hosting events such as the Child Safety Car Seat Check, the Dutchess County Traffic Safety Board (DCTSB) is encouraging parents to follow the 4 Steps 4 Kids guidelines developed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to determine which restraint system is best suited to protect children based on age and size:
- For the best possible protection keep infants in the back seat, in rear-facing child safety seats, as long as possible up to the height or weight limit of the particular seat. At a minimum, keep infants rear-facing until at least age 1 and at least 20 pounds.
- When children outgrow their rear-facing seats (at least age 1 and at least 20 pounds) they should ride in forward-facing child safety seats, in the back seat, until they reach the upper weight or height limit of the particular seat (usually around age 4 and 40 pounds).
- Once children outgrow their forward-facing seats (usually around age 4 and 40 pounds), they should ride in booster seats, in the back seat, until the vehicle seat belt fits properly. Seat belts fit properly when the lap belt lays across the upper thighs and the shoulder belt fits across the chest (usually at age 8 or when they are 4’9” tall).
- When children outgrow their booster seats, (usually at age 8 or when they are 4’9” tall) they can use the adult seat belts in the back seat, if they fit properly (lap belt lays across the upper thighs and the shoulder belt fits across the chest).
According to William C. Johnson, DCTSB Administrator, parents and caregivers need to remember that New York State’s Occupant Restraint Law requires ALL children under the age of four (4) to be restrained in a child safety seat that meets Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. Also, New York State law requires children between the ages of 4-7 who are 4’9” or less to be properly restrained in booster seats, and ALL passengers under the age of 16 must be belted while in the rear seat.
County Executive Steinhaus, the DCTSB and supporting members of the Child Passenger Safety Coalition encourage parents to utilize local professionals and take 15 minutes to assess their child’s safety in the family vehicle. “It is the responsibility of every parent and caregiver to make sure their children are safely restrained – every trip, every time. We urge everyone to get their child safety seats inspected. When it comes to the safety of a child, there is no room for mistakes,” said Steinhaus.
Child passenger car seat checks can be arranged throughout the year with the following members of the Dutchess County Child Passenger Safety Coalition: (appointments are required)
- The Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office, contact 486-3800
- Fairview Fire District, contact 452-8770
- City of Poughkeepsie Police Department, contact the Traffic Unit at 853-7422
- City of Beacon Police Department, contact Officer Allencastro at 831-4111
- Town of Poughkeepsie Police Department, contact Lt. Cox at 486-7801 x133
- Town of Hyde Park Police Department, 229-9340;
- Town of Fishkill Police Department, contact Florence Burke at 831-1110;
- Town of East Fishkill Police, contact 221-2111
- Alamo Emergency Medical Service, contact the Health Call Center 471-6618 x128
- Arlington Fire District, contact 486-6304
- Millbrook Fire Department, contact 677-3871.
- New Hackensack Fire Department, contact 297-3897
- Pleasant Valley Fire Department, contact 635-2117
Parents and caregivers can locate a Certified Technician by logging on to the Dutchess County Traffic Safety Board’s website at http://www.co.dutchess.ny.us/CountyGov/Departments/TrafficSafety/13966.htm and clicking on the link to the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee (GTSC) website (http://www.nysgtsc.state.ny.us/).
The Dutchess County Traffic Safety Board is a coalition of law enforcement, education, health and service agencies and individuals committed to ensuring that our streets, sidewalks, and residents remain safe. DCTSB’s slogan is “SAFETY – Do Your Part.”
County Executive Steinhaus said, “I would like to acknowledge and thank the Dutchess County Traffic Safety Board and agencies and technicians that make up the Dutchess County Child Passenger Safety Coalition for all their cooperative efforts to continue providing such valuable services to our families and community.”
For more information, contact the Dutchess County Traffic Safety Board at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (845) 486-3602.