To celebrate Child Passenger Safety Week, South County Fire is offering a free online child car seat class on Saturday, Sept. 17, 10-11 a.m.
Participants will learn how to keep a child safe from birth to the adult seat belt. Register in advance at South County Fire’s website, www.southsnofire.org/carseats.
Nearly half of car seats are used incorrectly, according to the latest research from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Even a simple error could lead to life-altering injuries or even death.
Keeping your child safe at every age and stage:
– State law requires children to ride rear-facing until age 2. NHTSA and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend rear-facing even longer, up to the top height and weight allowed by the car seat.
– Once a child outgrows a rear-facing car seat, they are ready to travel in a forward-facing car seat with a harness and tether.
– After outgrowing the forward-facing car seat, a child should be placed in a booster seat until tall enough to fit in a seat belt properly.
– Staying in each stage for as long as possible is the safest way a child can ride. Check your car seat owner’s manual to learn more about your car seats height and weight limits.
– Booster seats are an essential step between car seats and seat belts. Booster seats position the seat belt so that it fits properly over the stronger parts of your child’s body.
– Don’t feel pressured to put your child in a seat belt too soon. If your child is ready to use a seat belt, ensure the seat belt fits correctly, which typically occurs between 8 and 12 years old. A good way to tell if your child is ready for the seat belt is that their feet can touch the floor of your vehicle.
– The safest place for all kids under 13 is in the back seat — it’s the law.
In addition to child car seat safety training, South County Fire offers free online classes on ACT first aid and CPR, child safety and CPR, family disaster preparedness, aging in place, driving safety for teens and families and home fire safety. Learn more at www.southsnofire.org/classes.
South County Fire provides fire and emergency medical services to 270,000 residents of Brier, Edmonds, Lynnwood, Mountlake Terrace and unincorporated southwest Snohomish County.