The National Safety Commission Alerts

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Thursday, September 27, 2007

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Calls On Parents and Care Givers to Check Child Safety Seats

New Child Seat Education Program to be Launched, New Stricter, User-Friendlier Ratings Program to be Introduced

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is urging parents and caregivers to make certain their car seats and boosters seats are properly installed in their vehicles, and to be sure they understand how to buckle their children in the seats correctly.

Administrator Nicole R. Nason said that starting this Saturday, September 15, 2007, parents will have the opportunity to get seats checked at thousands of seat inspection stations being set up as part of Child Passenger Safety Week.

"The easiest thing parents can do to keep their small children safe in a vehicle is to make sure they're buckled in a properly installed child safety seat," Nason said. "Parents and caregivers should take this week to make sure that children are protected when in a vehicle."

Nason called on parents to learn how to properly install child safety seats from more than 30,000 certified child passenger safety seat technicians involved in Child Passenger Safety Week. NHTSA research reveals that during the past 20 years, roughly 7,000 lives have been spared by the proper use of child restraints.

"Buckling your child in a properly installed car seat or booster seat can be a struggle for even the most experienced parent," Nason said. "These seat check inspection stations are an invaluable service to caregivers to learn the proper steps and instill confidence that their child is as safe as they can be in the car."

According to Nason, NHTSA is working to make child safety seats easier to install. In 2008, parents will benefit from stricter child safety seat Ease of Use ratings. The agency will be replacing its current letter ranking system and testing child safety seats according to stricter criteria. NHTSA and its partners also will commence an education program to heighten consumer awareness of Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH), a mounting system required in vehicles to make child safety seat installation easier. Many of these changes are the result of the meeting NHTSA held in February with vehicle manufacturers, car seat manufacturers, retailers and consumer groups to explore avenues to improve child passenger safety.

For additional information or to find an inspection site near you visit or

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