Child Passenger Safety Week

September 12, 2018
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This past July in Rocky Hill, a three-vehicle accident sent a toddler flying out of the Jeep he was riding in…while still in his car seat! The driver of the jeep was killed in the accident and the 2-year-old appeared dead at the scene until he was revived by first responders. His condition has since improved, but the risk of future health complications is not yet known.

Car crashes are the number one cause of death when it comes to children under 15 years old. Being that children this young are not the ones driving, parents and guardians are fully responsible for ensuring the safety of these kids when they are in the car, all starting with choosing and using the right safety seat.


Child Passenger Safety Week 2018

Child deaths in car accidents are more common than you might believe. From 2012 to 2016, there were 3,268 children under 13 killed while riding in passenger vehicles according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and these numbers have been increasing steadily since 2014.

In attempts to reduce the rates of child deaths in car accidents, NHTSA began the Child Passenger Safety Week campaign held September 23-29 and ending with National Seat Check Saturday (29th). A number of local institutions and organizations participate in this safety initiative every year with the goal of educating parents on the importance of using proper fitting child safety seats and providing hands-on assistance in ensuring these seats are secured and installed correctly.


What Parents Are Doing Wrong

For children under 5-years-old, NHSTA estimates that car seats can save an average of 300 lives every year, but only if these safety devices are appropriately used. A startling  59% of car seats are installed incorrectly inside of vehicles from the very beginning, and most of the time unknowingly by the parents who placed them.

Some of the most common installation mistakes parent are making highlighted by the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia include:

  • Seat Not Installed Tight Enough: The safety seat when properly placed should not be able to move more than an inch in any direction or it could be at risk of ejection during a crash.
  • Poor Shoulder Strap Placement: Some parents place the shoulder straps far too high or low to be effective. The chest clip should be at armpit length for rear-facing kids and the shoulder straps at or below the baby’s shoulders. Forward-facing children should have shoulder straps at or above the shoulders.
  • Failing The ‘Pinch Test’: The ‘pinch test’ involves the tightness of the harness once the child is buckled in. If you can pinch extra material when your child is in the seat, it is not tight enough.
  • Improperly Placing Belt Strap: Parents are inserting the seat belt straps through the wrong slots on the car seat, causing the seat not be as secure as it could be during a crash.
  • Neglecting The Top Tether: Every seat has a top tether that is located at the top of the seat. Instructions on how to use the tether to secure the seat differ deepening on brand and style, but a number of parents are choosing not to use it at all.

Other common mistakes parents are making when it comes to their children and car seats include turning children forward-facing too soon, buying the wrong car seat for their child, and placing children into their car seats in bulky clothing such as winter coats. Any of these errors could prove to be fatal for a child involved in a car accident- some are even against the state law.


Connecticut Car Seat Laws

Connecticut has specific laws regarding children in car seats that parents/guardians transporting children must follow to help keep children safe. Current laws state:

  • Children must ride in a proper child safety seat and remain in the backseat of a vehicle until they reach appropriate age and weight limits.
  • Infants must ride in rear-facing seats until they are at least 2-years-old and 30 pounds.
  • Toddles must ride in a forward-facing, five-point harness seat until they are at least 5-years-old and 40 pounds.
  • Children should ride in booster seats until they are at least 8 years old and 60 pounds. Seat belts on these children must have a lap and shoulder restraint.
  • Children under 13-years-old should ride in the back seat.

Not only could drivers caught breaking these laws face criminal charges and large fines, innocent children’s lives could be put at risk as a result. However, state laws are not enough to encourage parents to use proper safety precautions for their children in the car and not due to lack of trying. Parents/guardians need more education and guidance when it comes to child passenger safety seats, particularly in choosing the right seat, installing the seat safely, and properly securing the children within.


Get Your Car Seat Checked!

Connecticut parents who are ashamed to ask for help when it comes to installing car seats, there is no need to feel guilty. A 2016 study published by the Journal of Pediatrics showed that 95% of parents are making at least one mistake when they are installing and securing the car seat, one of the reasons for NHTSA beginning Child Passenger Safety Week to begin with.

There are several different inspection sites Connecticut residents can visit to get their car seat checked for appropriate fit and proper installation. Most sites are open to the public but will require calling ahead for an appointment to ensure each family is granted an appropriate amount of time for their safety inspection.

This comprehensive list provided by Safe Kids Connecticut allows residents to search for all fitting stations available in their country, including location and contact information for making an appointment.

Some of the Fairfield County car seat fitting stations available are listed below:

Bethel Police Department

49 Plumtree Road, Bethel CT 06108
Officer Heather Burnes
Residents only
Appointment Only

Bristol Police Department
131 North Main Street, Bristol CT 06010
860-584-3017 ext. 3168
Sergeant Russ Marcham
Residents Only
Use online form on PD website to make appointment

Bridgeport Hospital Yale New Haven Health

267 Grant Street
Bridgeport, CT
203-200-KIDS or 203-384-4390
Appointment Only one Wednesday month

Brookfield Police Department

63 Silverman Road
Brookfield, 06804
Contact: Mitchell Heller
Appointment Only

The Car Seat Crew LLC
(203) 520-1068
Serving Fairfield County
Fee based service at your location or ours

Danbury Police Department

375 Main Street,
Danbury CT 06810
Sgt. Antonelli
Residents/Employees Only
Appointment only 1st 3 Mondays of the Month

Darien Police Department

25 Hecker Ave,
Darien CT 06820
203-662-5300 Ext. 5370
Open to Public
Contact Elizabeth Dilorio

Easton Police Department

700 Moorehouse Road,
Easton CT 06612
Officer Mark Pastor
Open to Public

Executive Livery, LLC

175 North St.
Goshen, 06756
Office: 860-491-3955
Appointment Only
Free Service No Charge

Greenwich Fire Department

15 Havemayer PL
Greenwich CT 06830
Firefighter Roth
Open to Public
Appointment Only

Fairfield Police Department

100 Reef Road,
Fairfield CT
One Saturday a month
Call Allison or check for details.

Little Riders LLC

Serving Fairfield and New Haven county
Appointments at your home/office, evenings and weekends.
Fee-based service
Special needs trained

Monroe Police Department

7 Fan Hill Road,
Monroe CT 06468
Detective Buckley
Residents & Appointments only

New Canaan Police Department

174 South Ave,
New Canaan CT 06840
Officer Thomas Patten
Appts must be made via email:

New Fairfield Police Department

302 Ball Pond Road,
New Fairfield CT 06810
Officer Lange
Open to Public
Appointments only

Newtown Police Department

3 Main Street,
Newtown CT 06470
Officer Flynn
Residents Only
Appointment Only

Norwalk Police Department

Norwalk Police Department
1 Monroe Street,
Norwalk CT 06854
Appointment Only

Safe in the Car

*Fee based service at your home/office*
Serving all of Fairfield and New Haven counties and parts of Litchfield and Hartford counties
Special needs trained

Stratford Police Department

900 Longbrook Ave,
Stratford CT 06614
Officer Albohn
Residents Only
Appointments only

Trumbull Police Department

Trumbull Police Department
158 Edison Rd Trumbull, CT
Coleen Fitch
Residents only, call for appointment

Weston Fire Rescue

56 Norfield Road,
Weston CT 06883
Mark Blake
Open to Public
Appointment Only, Special Needs Assistance available

Westport Police Department

50 Jesup Road,
Westport CT 06880
Officer Chris Proudfoot
Residents Only
Appointment Only

Wilton Police Department

240 Danbury Road,
Wilton CT 06897
Officer Anthony Cocco
Appointments only, open to the public


Dedicated To Child Passenger Safety in CT

Connecticut children deserve the best protection available when it comes to riding in the car. If your child has sustained a serious injury from a vehicle accident due to the negligence of another motorist, you could be eligible for financial compensation to help out with any damages suffered. Our winning team of attorneys at Jacobs & Wallace are committed to fighting back for your family’s right to safe travels on Connecticut roads. Call us for a free case evaluation to review all of your options for seeking restitution for your child’s unnecessary injuries.

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