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Presentation on theme: "TRANSPORTING CHILDREN SAFELY IN CHILD CARE"— Presentation transcript:

Passenger Safety Texas AgriLife Extension Service in cooperation with Texas Department of Transportation Educational programs of the Texas AgriLife Extension Service are open to all people without regard to race, color, sex, disability, religion, age, or national origin. The Texas A&M University System, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the County Commissioners Courts of Texas Cooperating

2 The Problem Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among children ages 3 and up. Nationally, over half of the children who died in crashes were unrestrained (NHTSA). Motor vehicle crashes continue to be the leading cause of death for children. The biggest tragedy is that so many of the fatalities could have been prevented if the children had been properly restrained. We cannot prevent crashes, but education on the proper use of child safety seats can help to reduce these needless tragedies.

3 The Law in Texas NEW LAW EFFECTIVE 9/1/09
Children under 8 years of age UNLESS taller than 4’9” must be restrained in a child restraint system according to the manufacturer’s instructions. All passengers in any seating position must be secured by a seat belt. 12 and 15 passenger vans are included. Texas is proud to have a new child safety seat law that includes booster age children. It is much better than our previous law that only included children up to age 5 unless taller than 36”, BUT it is still not best practice. Best practice is for children to be in a booster seat until the seat belt fits properly – usually at 4’9” tall and 8-12 years old. Note that 12 and 15 passenger vans are now included in the law and ALL passengers in any position in the vehicle that has a seat belt must be buckled.

4 Misuse Rates Are High 99% Misuse Passenger Safety Project 1%
FY 99 - FY 09 1% 99% Misuse Misuse is still very high! The Texas AgriLife Extension Service Passenger Safety Project which keeps records on the more than 12,000 inspections they have overseen since 1999 sees a misuse rate of 99%. 12,000 seats checked More than 99% misuse

5 Crash Dynamics When we travel in a car, we are moving at the same speed as the car. Law of physics: An object in motion stays in motion until it is stopped by an outside force. In a crash, the car might be stopped by another vehicle, a tree, or another object. It is not the speed that kills and injures. It is the stopping!

6 More on Crash Dynamics Unbuckled passengers will be stopped by the windshield, a hard surface in the vehicle, another person, or the pavement if ejected. Restrained occupants will be stopped by the harnesses of the child safety seat or a seat belt. You get to choose what will stop you! Seat belts and child restraints help prevent ejection. They also help to manage crash forces and secure the occupant to the vehicle. If you are secured to the vehicle you are able to come to a more gradual stop with the vehicle. If ejected from the vehicle, you are 4 times more likely to be killed.

7 How Seat Belts and Child Restraints Protect
Prevents people from being thrown from the vehicle Contacts body at strongest places Spreads crash forces over a wide area of the body Helps the body slow down Protects the head, neck, and spinal cord The primary reason for seat belts and child restraints is to prevent ejection. They also help to manage crash forces by contacting the body at the strongest parts (hips and shoulders) and spreading crash forces over a larger area. A passenger that is securely buckled into the vehicle is able to take advantage of the vehicle slowing down at a more gradual rate and absorbing some of the crash forces. Being secured to the vehicle helps prevent forward movement and protects the head, neck and spinal cord.

8 Effectiveness of Child Restraints
71% effective in reducing infant deaths 54% effective in reducing toddler deaths 69% effective in reducing hospitalization need Children 37% less likely to be fatally injured riding in the rear seat Child restraints have proven to be very effective in preventing injuries and deaths. But to be effective they must be used and used properly!

9 Child Safety Seats – The 4 Steps
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) promotes the 4 Steps to Growing Up Safe Step 1 – Rear facing seats - Keep babies rear facing as long as possible to the maximum weight and height limit of their seat. At a minimum keep babies rear-facing to one year AND 20 pounds. New research shows that children who are kept rear-facing up until the second year of life will be five times safer. Step 2 – Forward-Facing Seats - When children outgrow their rear-facing seats, they can be forward facing. Children should stay in a harness until they outgrow their seat – usually age four and 40 pounds. Step 3 – Booster Seats – Once children outgrow their forward-facing seats, usually at age four and 40 pounds, they can move to a booster seat. Children should ride in the back seat in a booster until the lap and shoulder belt fit correctly – usually at 4’9” and 8-12 years old. Step 4 – Seat Belts – When children outgrow their booster seats – usually at age 8-12 and 4’9” tall they can fit into the lap/shoulder belt system of the vehicle. The lap belt should fit properly across the upper thighs and the shoulder belt across the chest. CHIILDREN 12 and UNDER SHOULD RIDE IN THE BACK SEAT!

10 What Is the Best Child Safety Seat?
Fits child - appropriate for child’s height, weight, and age Fits in the vehicle Seat that will be used correctly all the time The best seat for a child is the one that fits the child, fits the vehicle and the parent/care giver will use properly on every trip.

11 What to Avoid Seat involved in crash Missing labels
More than 5 years old Cracks or rust Parts missing On recall list Second-hand seats There are many things to avoid when considering a used seat. Second-hand seats where the history is unknown should be avoided. It may have been in a crash and have hairline cracks. If the seat belonged to a friend or family member and has never been in a crash, it may be safe to use if it has no damages, has all its parts and is in good condition.

12 Recalls Recall lists on NHTSA Web site NHTSA:
AUTO SAFETY HOTLINE 1-888-DASH-2-DOT Child Safety Seat Manufacturer There are many recalls on child safety seats for many different reasons. Some recalls involve dangerous issues, some may be just for mistakes in labeling. Always make sure you will be notified if a seat is on recall by sending in the registration card when the seat is purchased new. If you are using a seat that was previously used by a friend or family member check the Auto Safety Hotline to make sure it has not been recalled.

13 Important COSCO Read the instruction book that comes with the seat.
Most parents do not take time to carefully read the instruction book that comes with every child safety seat. Simply reading the manual would help to avoid lots of the misuse we see with child safety seats. Rear Facing Infant Seat INSTRUCTIONS READ AND KEEP FOR FUTURE REFERENCE

14 Types of Child Restraint Systems
Infant only Convertible seats Forward-facing only Booster Safety belts There are four basic types of child safety seats: - Infant only seats - Convertibles - Forward-facing only seats (includes booster seats with removable harnesses) - Booster Seats

15 Infant-only Seats Rear-facing Birth/5 lbs. to 20/22 lbs.
Supports head and spine in crash Rear-facing infant only seats usually fit a newborn best. They generally go from 5 pounds to 20/22 pounds. There are some that start at birth or 4 pounds for preemies and low birth weight infants. There are also higher harness weight infant only seats that go to 30 and 32 pounds. Most infant only seats come with a separate base and a removable carrier.

16 Aftermarket Products Thick padding added under or behind child or harness Pads on harness straps Aftermarket products are add-ons that have not been crash tested with the seat. If the padding came with the seat it has been crash-tested and is safe to use. Graco makes padding that can be purchased separately from the seat. It is crash-tested and okay to use with the model of seat specified. Do not use head-rolls or other padding that did not come with the seat. They can interfere with the harness and cause slack in the system. It can also slip down behind the baby’s head and cause the baby’s head to bend forward possibly cutting off the air supply.

17 Acceptable Padding Receiving blankets/cloth diapers that don’t interfere with harness and/or shell contact may be used. To position a small infant in a seat, it is acceptable to use rolled receiving blankets on each side of the infant. Do not place the receiving blanket behind the infant’s head. Sometimes, a rolled receiving blanket or cloth diaper can be placed in the crotch area to keep the baby from slipping down in the harness.

18 Convertible Seats 5-Point Harness Tray Shield T-Shield
Convertible seats can go rear-facing and then forward-facing later on. Although T-Shields and Tray Shields are no longer made, you may see them still in use. A 5-point harness provides a better fit for most children.

19 Rear-facing Convertibles
Rear-facing until at least 20 lbs. and one year old Safer to leave child rear-facing longer (to wt. and ht. limit of seat) UP TO AGE 2 or MORE Current rear-facing convertible seats go to 30/35 lbs. rear-facing Keep children rear-facing as long as possible to the maximum limit of the seat. Rear-facing convertibles go to 30 or 35 pounds. Recently there are three convertibles available that go to 40 pounds rear-facing. Keeping children rear-facing to age two or more will help to keep them up to five times safer! In addition to the weight and height limit of the rear-facing convertible. Make sure there is at least 1” between the top of the child’s head and the top of the shell of the seat. 5-Point Harness

20 Transition to Forward-facing Convertible
Child must be at least one year and 20 lbs. Child’s weight exceeds limits of rear- facing seat – 30/35 lbs. Child’s height exceeds limits of seat (need 1” from top of child’s head to top of shell) A child should be at least one year AND 20 pounds before considering forward facing. Some convertibles do not allow children to be forward-facing until at least 22 pounds. Most forward-facing convertibles go to 40 pounds. However, there are several higher harness weight convertibles now available that go to 50, 60, 65 or 80 pounds.

21 Harness Strap Slots Rear-facing Harness straps at or below shoulders
Forward-facing Harness straps at or above shoulders Harness Slots Follow the rule for correct harness placement: Rear-facing – at or below the shoulders Forward-facing – at or above the shoulders

22 Harness Strap Slots Convertible Seat
Some convertible seats only have top harness slots reinforced for forward-facing use. READ INSTUCTIONS! Harness Slots With convertible seats, be careful when choosing what forward-facing harness slot to use. Read the instructions carefully to see which slots are reinforced for forward-facing use. If in doubt, use the top slots.

23 Harness Strap Slots Harness straps in wrong slot for forward- facing child Harness straps ripped through lower slots 2 yr. old child died of a spinal cord injury Here is an example of what can happen if the harnesses are placed in a slot that is not reinforced. It can be a very dangerous and sometimes fatal mistake!

24 Harness Straps Snug Straps must be snug
Not able to pinch any of webbing on harness For all types of child safety seats, make sure the harness straps are snug. The straps should lay flat and you should not be able to pinch any of the webbing.

25 Retainer Clip Retainer Clip Place at level armpit to armpit
Holds straps in position Retainer Clip The retainer clip in all child safety seats always goes across the chest from armpit to armpit. The purpose of the retainer clip is to keep the harness straps from slipping off the child’s shoulders.

26 Transition to Forward-Facing Only
Combination Seat Forward-facing only (higher top harness slot) After 40 lbs.* harness is removed; use as belt- positioning booster A combination seat combines a removable 5-point harness with a high back booster seat. In the stores, it is usually referred to as a booster seat with a harness. ALL of the harness slots are reinforced on this type of seat. Choose the one that is at or slightly above the child’s shoulders. Most combination seats go to 40 pounds, but there are several available that go to 50, 60, 65 or 80 pounds. Best practice is to keep children in a harness until 40 pounds as long as they are not too tall for the seat. *Some newer seats have higher harness weights.

27 Boosters Boosters are for children:
Mature enough to sit still in lap/shoulder belt Usually 4 years of age and over 40 lbs. Booster seats should only be used for children mature enough to sit still for the entire ride. This is usually four years old and over 40 pounds.

28 Alternatives for Boosters for Children over 40 Pounds
Convertible seats that go to lbs. forward-facing Combination seats that go to lbs. and then become booster seats Forward-facing seats that go up to lbs. but do not become boosters Vests that go to 168 lbs. See handout on higher weight seats Children who weigh over 40 pounds, but are not mature enough for a booster should be in a higher harness weight seat. There are several higher harness weight seats to choose from as well as vests. See handout with a list of seats available. Graco Nautilus

29 Transition to Booster Seat
Choice: booster or safety belt? Safety belts do not fit Short height and legs Rounded hips Booster helps child fit the adult safety belt Safety belts were designed for an adult at least 4’9” tall. Boosters are needed to raise the child up so the lap/shoulder belt will fit correctly.

30 Boosters 4 - 8+ years old and under 4’9” Types:
High back belt-positioning Backless belt-positioning Boosters must be used with a lap and shoulder belt! Booster seats must be used with a lap and shoulder belt! There are two types of boosters – high back and backless

31 High Back Belt-Positioning Booster
Maximum weight – 80/100* lbs. Provides head support Most high-back boosters start at 30 lbs. BEST PRACTICE is to keep child in a 5-point harness until 40 lbs. A high back booster can provide head support when the vehicle has no headrest. Although most high back boosters start at 30 pounds, remember that best practice is to keep a child in a 5-point harness until 40 pounds. * Some go to more than 100 lbs.

32 Backless Belt-positioning Booster
Used when head restraint is present Fits 40 lbs. up to 80/100 lbs. A few go over 100 lbs. Most backless boosters start at 40 pounds. Make sure there is a headrest available in the vehicle. The headrest should provide support behind the mid-point of the child’s head (the top of the ears).

33 Solutions for Vehicles with Lap Belts Only
Vests are available that can go up to 168 lbs. Many vests can be used with lap only belts (may also need tether) E-Z-On Travel Vest RideSafer Travel Vest E-Z-On Vest Many older vehicles have only lap belts in the back seat. This poses a problem for children that need to ride in booster seats. In addition to higher harness weight seats, there are also vests available that can help keep children safe in these situations. Some may require a top tether be added to the vehicle. Some vehicles may be able to be retrofitted with lap/shoulder belts. RideSafer Travel Vest

34 Transition to Lap/Shoulder Belt
Child should not slouch Lap portion should fit low on hips Shoulder portion should fit across chest and shoulder Never put shoulder portion behind back or under arm Fits children at least 4’9’’ tall - usually around 8-12 yrs. old Check to make sure a child is fitting properly in the lap/shoulder belt. Child should sit up straight The knees should bend comfortably at the edge of the seat. The lap belt should fit correctly low over the hips The shoulder belt should fit correctly over the chest The child should be able to sit comfortably for the entire ride This is usually when the child is at least 4’9” tall and 8-12 years old.

35 Safety in and around Vehicles
Not all vehicle-related injuries and deaths to children are from motor vehicle crashes. Children are at risk in and around vehicles in non-crash incidents. Jacob’s Law – effective 9/1/09 Children are at great risk in non-traffic incidents. It is important that care givers follow safety guidelines to keep children safe in and around vehicles. Jacob’s Law which became effective on September 1, 2009 is named in memory of four-year-old Jacob Fox who died in July 2006 after being accidentally left behind in a day care van on a day where the temperature in Dallas reached into the triple digits Now, anyone in a licensed or registered child care program who transports a child whose chronological or developmental age is younger than nine years is required to complete at least two hours of annual training on transportation safety. This course meets this requirement.

36 Children at Risk from Hyperthermia
Never leave a child unattended in a vehicle. In just 10 minutes, temperatures can increase almost 20 degrees. A child’s body temperature rises 3-5 times faster than an adult’s. In more than half of the cases, the child was ‘forgotten’ by the care giver. Children are at great risk of hyperthermia from being left in hot vehicles. A child’s body temperature can rise 3-5 times faster than an adult. In just 10 minutes temperatures in a vehicle can rise almost 20 degrees. In most cases where a child dies after being left alone in a hot vehicle, the child was ‘forgotten’ by the care giver. At the end of a trip, always search the vehicle to make sure no child is left behind.

37 Children at Risk in Cars with Engine Running
Children left alone in a vehicle with the engine running can accidently or deliberately set the vehicle in motion. An unbelted child in a moving vehicle is also at great risk of injury. Power windows can be activated and pose a great danger for children. A vehicle with the motor running is a very dangerous place for an unattended child. Whether deliberately or accidently, a child can set the vehicle in motion. Power windows are also a great danger to children when left in a vehicle with the ignition turned on.

38 Children at Risk for Backovers
According to there are 50 children backed over each week – 48 are injured and 2 die. Blind spots are the main reasons for backovers. Backovers are very dangerous. As many as 50 children are involved in backovers each week. The main reason is blind spots.

39 It is frightening to think that there can be as many as 62 children behind this vehicle and not one is visible to the driver! It is important to take a five second walk around the vehicle to make sure there are no children near the vehicle.

40 Follow Safety Tips Injuries and death to children in and around vehicles can be prevented. Follow a routine of safety precautions. Help avoid needless injuries and deaths that bring tragedy to all involved. See the safety tips handout. Needless injuries and deaths can be avoided by following a routine of safety precautions. Please read the handout with safety tips and make this an everyday part of your routine. NEVER LEAVE CHILDREN ALONE IN AND AROUND VEHICLES!

41 Resources Online course available: Transporting Children Safely in Child Care at: 2 clock hours Meets new requirements for 2 additional hours of transportation safety Locate a technician Texas AgriLife Extension Passenger Safety Project offers an online version of this course. It meets the requirement of two clock hours in transportation safety. The course is available at: There is no charge for taking the course, but a $10 fee is required for printing out the certificate. To locate a Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician in your area for help with child safety seats go to: If you are interested in becoming a certified child passenger safety technician contact the Passenger Safety Project at

42 Working Together Let’s help keep the children of Texas safe and healthy!


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