RALEIGH, NC – This weekend is Child Passenger Safety week and drivers are urged to make sure they are traveling properly with their children.
According to AAA, motor vehicle crashes are the number one cause of death for children in North Carolina.
In 2017, 675 children 12 years old and younger died in motor vehicle crashes, and nearly 116,000 were injured, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The CDC said of the 12 years old and younger who died, 35% were not buckled up.
WakeMed is one place that educates parents and caregivers how to install car seats correctly as they leave the hospital with their newborn.
Jerome Blu, a car seat tech at WakeMed, explained the CBS 17 how to properly install a car seat and travel with children the safest way possible.
“We want to keep your child safe until the point they can wear a seat belt,” said Blu.
He stressed that a seat belt does not fit a child like it does an adult in a car.
Blu said children should always ride in the back of the car. The safest location is the middle seat.
“You need to always be in a restraint,” Blu said, “there are different stages and seats that you use as the child grows.”
The National Highway Transportation Association recommends children travel in a car seat for as long as possible, at least until the age of two.
Blu encourages parents to take a look at the side of the car seat they purchase. There should be a label that explains weight and size limits.
A car manual is a great resource. Inside, there should be a child safety section explaining how to install car or booster seats in the specific car that you own.
Blu said some vehicles will come with a latch system to attach seats, others will not. A seat belt can be used.
The NHTA also recommends parents registers their car seats with the manufacturer.
If you are delivering at WakeMed, a certified car seat technician will inspect your car seat installation and ensure your baby is properly secured.
Some local fire stations can do this for you as well. Make sure you call before you go.
Click here to find out a car seat inspection site near you.