A growing epidemic of traffic injuries is devastating the next generation of children around the globe. More than 500 children are killed every day as a result of road traffic collisions, and tens of thousands are injured, often suffering lifelong disabilities. Children living in poorer nations are most at risk. In fact, more than 90 percent of child road deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries.
How tall is your child? We know exactly what babies weigh and how long they are, but most parents I know couldn't tell you the exact height of their child as they grow older. There is one height, however, that every parent of young children needs to know: 4'9" (57 inches).
Our new study helps answer some of the questions parents have about when to switch from a booster seat to just a seat belt. We surveyed 1,000 parents of children ages 4 to 10 and found that an alarming number of parents are allowing kids to use a seat belt alone before they are big enough. In fact, 7 in 10 parents do not know that a child should be at least 57 inches (4’9”) to ride in a car without a booster seat.
I’m a state trooper, a certified child passenger safety technician and a father of four kids under the age of 11, so I understand the importance of safety seats. I’ll never forget the day in March 2014, when I saw for myself just how important they are. I was volunteering at a car seat inspection at the Fabius-Park Township fire department, just outside of Three Rivers, Mich. The forecast that day was for rain and snow. Ice had already started covering the roads.
We were delighted recently when our partners at Safe Kids China asked us to visit and conduct a child passenger safety certification course in Shanghai. Our goal was to teach and certify health and safety professionals in Shanghai about the benefits of using child safety restraints in the car.
Only an estimated 2-3 percent of the population in China have or use car seats. But things are starting to change. A newly passed law will go into effect soon in Shanghai that will require children under 4 to ride in car seats. This is huge step in the right direction.
Sometimes we do something and have no idea what the long term consequences might be.
I took the Child Passenger Safety Certification Course in 1998. It was one of the original courses offered and I traveled all the way from Louisiana to Texas to be one of the first people to get certified to correctly install and check car seats.
There’s lots of great ways to enjoy the winter. Sledding, ice skating, and the chance to wear big puffy coats and heavy boots. Of course, there’s also winter weather to consider and so far, we’ve seen it all: cold, wind, snow, and some sunny days too.
Over the river, through the woods, down the highway and off on a plane we go. Holiday travel season is here and it’s an extra special one for me because it’s my baby’s first Thanksgiving. Not only are we travelling to Grandma’s house, but we’re off to aunts’, uncles’ and cousins’ houses as well – at least I don’t have to do the cooking this year.
During our Safe Kids Worldwide leadership conference, I spent the day with several of our international partners, who traveled to Washington, D.C. to share and learn about the best ways to keep kids safe.