According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 46% of all car seats are misused. To help combat this issue, NHTSA and DHEC are recognizing Child Passenger Safety Week from September 20-26, 2020, a campaign dedicated to helping parents and caregivers make sure their children ride as safely as possible — every trip, every time.
Motor vehicle crashes are a leading killer of children, according to NHTSA, and while fatalities declined from 2017 to 2018 (the most recent data available), there is still work to be done to completely eliminate these preventable tragedies. Car seats, booster seats, and seat belts can make all the difference in saving lives.
Children are often moved to the front seat before they should, which increases the risk of injury and death, even if that child is buckled up. The safest place for all kids under 13 is in the back seat. NHTSA reported that, in 2015, about 25.8% of children 4 to 7 who should have been riding in booster seats were prematurely moved to seat belts, and 11.6% were unbuckled altogether.
South Carolina Child Passenger Safety Law
According to the SC Child Passenger Safety Law, infants under two years old must be secured in a rear-facing car seat until the child exceeds the height or weight limit allowed by the manufacturer of the car seat, before moving to a forward-facing car seat. Children at least four who have outgrown a forward-facing seat may be moved to a booster seat until they meet the height and fit requirements for an adult safety belt. The safest place for all children is in the back seat. The full SC Child Passenger Safety Law can be found through the SC Department of Public Safety at https://scdps.sc.gov/buckleupsc/safety_seat_law.
Find a Certified-CPS Technician Near You
Make sure children are in the right car seat for their age and size. Car seats should be checked by a certified CPS Technician to ensure they’re installed correctly. Fitting locations in South Carolina can be found at scdhec.gov/carseats.
Register your car seat or booster seat with the seat manufacturer so you can be notified in the event of a recall.
Parents and caregivers can view more information on car seat safety at www.nhtsa.gov/therightseat.