Session Takes Place Sept. 22 in Utica
The Oneida County Health Department and the Oneida County Sheriff’s Office will be hosting a car seat safety event on September 22 as part of Child Passenger Safety Week.
The event will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Deerfield Fire Station in Utica. Car seats will be available to income-qualified candidates by appointment only. For those already in possession of a car seat, a certified technician will be available to check that it is installed properly.
“Car crashes are the leading cause of death for children in this country,” said Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr. “On this Child Passenger Safety Week, we emphasize the importance of car seat safety and educate and assist parents who face financial barriers in properly securing their most precious cargo.”
Child Passenger Safety Week is being recognized September 19-25 this year.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, on average, two children under 13 years old were killed and an estimated 374 were injured every day in 2019 while riding in cars, SUVs, pickups, and vans. In total, 608 child passenger vehicle occupants died in traffic crashes in 2019. Thirty-eight percent of children who died in 2019 while riding in passenger vehicles were unrestrained, compared to 33% in 2018.
Finding the right car seat for a child depends on multiple factors including the child’s age, height, and weight, as well as the guidelines of the law. The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles requires that all children up to age eight must be in an appropriate child safety restraint system and not the seat belt alone. Children under the age of 13 should ride in the backseat and all children under the age of two must be rear-facing.
“When children are properly restrained in vehicles, they are safer from injuries and fatal injuries,” said Daniel W. Gilmore, Ph.D., MPH, Oneida County Director of Health. “The United States Department of Transportation reports the risk of fatal injury for infants is reduced by up to 71% when the child is in a properly installed car seat. That is why this is so important.”
To ensure children are riding safely, the Oneida County Health Department, along with the Oneida County Sheriff’s Office, can provide a free car seat and the training to independently install the car seat.
A limited number of free car seats will be distributed by appointment only to those parent/guardian drivers who are eligible. Requirements include:
- Meeting income eligibility – provide proof of public assistance.
- Bringing the child who is in need of the car seat to the appointment. If pregnant, the baby must be expected within the next three months.
- Bringing the vehicle for the seat to be installed.
- Passing COVID-19 screening questionnaire.
- Wearing a mask throughout the event.
For eligibility and registration for these events, please call 315-798-5229.
For more information about how to find the right car seat, visit https://www.nhtsa.gov/equipment/car-seats-and-booster-seats.
This car seat safety event has been made possible through a grant offered by New York State Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee.