COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) – In preparation for National Child Passenger Safety Week, News 3 spoke with the Department of Public Health on how to keep children safe while traveling.
The Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety and the Department of Public Health have partnered together for National Child Passenger Safety Week that begins on Sept. 19. The statewide program provides services to caregivers and provides education to child agencies so they can have certified technicians.
Program Specialist of the child safety project Jaleiah Harmon told News 3 the key to keeping your child safe in the car is making sure they’re buckled up correctly.
“So when you’re putting your child in a car seat you want to make sure you’re using selection. Which is picking the right car seat for that child, direction, determine which way that child should ride, whether it’s rear-facing or forward-facing. Location in the vehicle, harnessing and then installing that seat into the vehicle,” Harmon said.
Harmon also said children should be rear-facing as long as possible.
“A child should ride rear-facing for as long as possible until they max out the weight limit of that car seat. Normally seats max out around the weight of 40 pounds for rear-facing so from the time they’re born up until they’re around the age of four,” Harmon said.
Having your child front-facing too soon can cause serious injuries.
“Turning a child forward-facing too fast can cause some injuries to their neck and spine. In a rear-facing car seat, it protects their head, neck and spine in case of an accident,” Harmon said.
Harmon told News 3, three out of four car seats are installed incorrectly or the child was harnessed incorrectly.
“When you get a car seat you can reach out to fitting stations in your area, you can go to gahighwaysafety.org to find out what the fitting stations are in your area. So you can call and get that car seat checked by a professional safety technician,” Harmon said.