RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — This week is Child Passenger Safety Week and an event Monday at Pullen Park will help parents and caregivers keep kids safe while in vehicles.
North Carolina Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey and North Carolina Governor’s Highway Safety Program Director Mark Ezzell, along with local law enforcement agencies and first responders, will host the Child Passenger Safety Clinic at Pullen Park in Raleigh from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The event is being held to ensure that children are secured in properly installed child safety seats when they’re riding in a vehicle.
At the clinic, National Certified Child Safety Seat Technicians will inspect car seats free of charge to make sure children are in age-appropriate seats that are properly installed.
Families who can’t afford a child seat can come to the clinic with their child to receive a free car seat, if needed, and have it properly installed and inspected.
The free car seats will be limited to 50 seats and will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.
“Car seats save lives, but they have to be installed properly in order to do their job,” said Causey. “Our goal during Child Passenger Safety Week is to teach as many parents, grandparents and caregivers as possible the correct way to install a child passenger safety seat and secure children in a vehicle.”
Car crashes are the leading cause of death for children ages 1 to 13 years old, according to the N.C. Department of Insurance (NCDOI).
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, 608 children died in traffic crashes in 2019. Thirty-eight percent of those children (231) were not restrained in a child passenger safety seat.
Child safety seats reduce to risk of crash fatalities by 71 percent for infants and 54 percent for toddlers, statistics show.
“Last year, 30 children under the age of 12 died on North Carolina roads, and that is unacceptable,” said Ezzell. “We can and must prevent these tragedies. North Carolina has more child passenger safety technicians than any other state, and they are always available to help you and your family ensure proper installation.”
According to the NCDOI, North Carolina has more than 2,900 Child Passenger Safety Technicians that operate in 98 out of the state’s 100 counties.
The event will be held in Pullen Park’s parking lot near shelter 5, which is located up the hill on the right side of the upper parking lot, near the Aquatic Center. The address is 520 Ashe Ave. in Raleigh.
Click here to view a list of fire stations and other sites in North Carolina that can provide free car safety seat checks year-round.