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Child Safety In and Around Cars Featuring: Lorrie Walker – Safe Kids Worldwide Tracy Whitman - Maryland Kids In Safety Seats Meg Miller - Maryland Highway.

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Presentation on theme: "Child Safety In and Around Cars Featuring: Lorrie Walker – Safe Kids Worldwide Tracy Whitman - Maryland Kids In Safety Seats Meg Miller - Maryland Highway."— Presentation transcript:

1 Child Safety In and Around Cars Featuring: Lorrie Walker – Safe Kids Worldwide Tracy Whitman - Maryland Kids In Safety Seats Meg Miller - Maryland Highway Safety Office Wednesday February 21,2007 This conference call is sponsored in part by a grant from the Maryland Highway Safety Office/ State Highway Administration

2 Children In and Around Cars Lorrie Walker Safe Kids Buckle Up: Providing simultaneous safety messages to parents and kids February 2007

3 Identified risks to children in and around cars Vehicle backovers Improper restraint: boosters/belts Children left alone in vehicles Trunk entrapment Post-crash help

4 Parent/child education effort Use existing group where parents are routinely involved: Cub Scouts Reach target audience of both kids ages 8- 10 and parents/caregivers Offer an incentive to the kids: Cub Scout patch Make it fun: 5 fast paced safety stations Provide food: pizza works!

5 Program Details Held at Chevrolet Dealership Passports to record height and weight (kids) Pre-test (kids)/Post-test (kids) Evaluation (parents, dealership, cub scout leader) Safe Kids/Cub Scout Patch Outcome evaluation: Interviews with dealers, scout leaders, coalitions 5 Stations Safety belt fit test Spot the Tot Trunk Entrapment Never Leave Your Child Alone OnStar Total program time: Approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes

6 Program Components Educational Stations Round Robin approach: 5 groups of kids/parents rotate through all stations Small groups (about 5-7 kids) to assure individualized attention Simple pre and post tests to measure gained knowledge Parent/Caregiver participation is essential Passports stamped at each station

7 Using Technicians and Volunteers One Certified CPS Technician and volunteer must be at each station Technicians lead the teaching portion at each station Volunteers assist technicians, facilitate parents/children moving from station to station, weigh and measure the children, and organize survey taking.

8 Kids, Parents, Community PILOTS: 255 Parents 271 Cub Scouts 117 Volunteers 9 Cities Englewood, CO Charlotte, NC Dallas, TX Rogers, MN San Diego, CA Franklin, TN Escondido, CA Nutley, NJ West Bloomfield, MI

9 Spot The Tot: Vehicle Backovers Spot The Tot: parent sits in vehicle driver seat; kids line up behind vehicle; driver identifies first child seen- visual demonstration of “blind spots” and need to “walk around” before entering vehicle. Key Messages KIDS: Play in places away from cars including in driveways, parking lots and streets. PARENTS: Do a complete “walk around” your car before entering. Look for kids, toys and pets.

10 Safety Belt Fit Test: Boosters or Belts? Key Messages KIDS: Kids are safer and more comfortable in a booster seat until the seat belt fits properly. Use a back seat. PARENTS: Do the “safety belt fit test” on each child you transport; “test” your child in cars where he rides. Be prepared to use a booster in a back seat for every ride.

11 Never Leave Your Child Alone Key Messages KIDS: Remind adults that it is not safe for you to be left alone in a car. PARENTS: It is not safe for kids to be left alone in cars-even for a few minutes. Call 911 if you see unattended children.

12 Trunk Entrapment Key Messages KIDS: Trunks are for cargo. Never play in or near cars. Know how to use the trunk release pull in newer cars in an emergency. PARENTS: Keep keys and remote entry fobs away from kids. Keep cars locked.

13 OnStar Emergency Response Key Messages KIDS: You may hear a voice after a crash; talk to the OnStar person. PARENTS: OnStar has many functions-know how to use them before an emergency.

14 The Cub Scout Patch Designed by Cub Scouts of America, Chevrolet and Safe Kids Earned after completing all 5 passport safety stations Distributed after kids took post-test

15 Parent Evaluation Evaluation 81% Excellent program 99% felt kids learned Suggestions: Keep event small Expand to include girls and other audiences Use indoor facility due to weather issues

16 Next Steps Use this model for CPS Week 2007 and evaluate results (general population) Teach parents that proper restraint in a vehicle is just as important for older children as it is for infants and toddlers. Offer grants to coalitions/chapters to continue to offer this education Provide quality materials for future programming

17 Pediatricians: Anticipatory Guidance Encourage parents to: Use boosters for kids >40 lbs and up to 4’9” and weights between 80-100 lbs; back seat message Know where all kids are playing- away from cars Develop the “walk around” habit before entering the car- look for kids, toys and pets Keep cars locked and keys away from kids Never leave kids alone in a vehicle- even for a few minutes

18 Visit Safe Kids Worldwide via Web Find a coalition to help you educate your families Obtain materials Find an inspection station Learn about risk areas other than traffic Drowning, pedestrian, home safety, fire

19 Proper Restraints Proper Positions Booster Seat Recommendations Tracy Whitman Maryland Kids in Safety Seats

20 Proper Restraints Reduce the risk of injury/death by improving fit of restraints for children too small for adult-sized belt Afford a mechanical protection advantage over seat belts

21 Specifically, Restraints Prevent ejection Better distribution of crash forces on stronger parts of the child’s body Limits crash forces experienced by occupant Limit the contact of occupant with intruding vehicle structures BUT, you have to chose the right one

22 Consider the Infant/Child Large, heavy head Weak neck/back Immature skeletal system Flexible, narrow shoulders Small, round pelvis

23 Rear-facing… How they Protect Crash forces are distributed over the entire trunk Spine is subject to less extreme forces of flexion and fewer fractures and dislocations* Less trauma to the brain as the whiplash motion is reduced (The brain is the least likely to recover from injury**) *Source: Pediatrics, November 2000 **Source: Partners for Child Passenger Safety, Maryland Fact Sheet, quoting statistics from Pediatrics, June 2002, updated in 2003.

24 Recommendations AAP recommends To the maximum weight or height of the rear-facing convertible seat for OPTIMAL protection. (30-35 pounds)* Many safety experts state: Children should ride rear facing until they are 18-24 months. *Minimum recommendations are one year old and 20 pounds

25 Forward-facing… How they Protect Crash forces are distributed over the entire trunk Harness allows for better energy distribution –Dissipates crash forces over the stronger parts of the body –Lessens the crash force on weaker bones/muscles of the child’s body –Keeps them “in position”

26 Recommendations AAP recommends To maximum harness weight limit to 40-65 pounds To maximum harness height limit: Move to Combination or Forward-facing only seat for taller shoulder slots Many safety experts state: Children who have outgrown 40 pound harness systems before 3-4 years old or extremely active should use a higher harness system (to 50-65 pounds)

27 Proper Position-The Back Seat For children who are the sole passengers at the time of a crash: 30% of 4- to 8-year-olds 73% of 9- to 12-year-olds were in the front seat A child’s risk of injury is reduced by 40% of moved from the front seat to back seat* * Source: Partners for Child Passenger Safety, CPS Issue Report, May 2005

28 Recommendation The safest place for all infants and children younger than 13 years is in the back seat, appropriately restrained.

29 Booster Seats…How they Protect Pre-crash positioners Raise small children up Re-position lap belts off the soft belly onto the hip/upper thigh bones Re-position shoulder belt across the center of the chest, resting on the collarbone



32 Recommendations AAP recommends A forward-facing seat, a combination seat, or a belt- positioning booster seat should be used when the child has outgrown a convertible safety seat but is too small to use the vehicle’s safety belts Vehicle safety belts should not be used until the shoulder belt can be positioned across the chest with the lap belt low and snug across the thighs, the child should fit against the vehicle’s seat back with his or her feet hanging down when the legs are bent at the knees. A belt-positioning booster seat should be used until the vehicle safety belt fits well

33 Many safety experts state: 5-Step Test Height of 4’9”

34 5-Step Test* Does the child sit all the way back against the vehicle seat? Doe the child’s knees bend comfortably at the edge of the vehicle seat? Does the belt cross the shoulder between the neck and arm? Is the lap belt as low as possible, touching the thighs? Can the child stay seated like this for the whole trip? * Source: Safety Belt Safe

35 4 Feet 9 Inches When children outgrow a toddler seat, they need to use a booster seat along with a lap and shoulder belt until they stand 4 feet, 9 inches tall* * Source: NHTSA


37 Maryland Resources Meg Miller Maryland Highway Safety Office February 21, 2007

38 What you’ve heard so far… Choosing the correct restraint and basics about seating positions for each child passenger Now find out… local and state resources to learn more!

39 Maryland CPS Law Effective October 1, 2003 All children younger than six years old and weighing less than 40 pounds must ride in a federally approved child safety restraint system according to manufacturers’ instructions.* Must meet BOTH criteria before being moved out of a safety belt and into an adult seat belt. Child restraint must be correct for the child’s size, weight, and age. *includes infant, convertible, forward-facing, booster, or other federally approved child restraints

40 Maryland’s CPS Laws, continued A person may not transport a child younger than 16 years of age unless the child is secured in a child safety seat or a vehicle’s seat belt in all seating positions in all vehicles. A child younger than 16 years may not ride in an unenclosed cargo bed of a pick-up truck.

41 Okay, so now the kids are all set…what about the adults? Sometimes adults don’t wear their seat belts correctly, and this lessens their effectiveness.

42 Lap belts… Should be worn below the waistline, against the hips and thighs—never across the stomach.

43 Shoulder belts… Should be snug across the chest and against the collarbone—never under your arm or behind your back!

44 So what’s next? If you have any questions, need help with a safety seat installation, or know someone who needs a safety seat or booster seat… You have a fantastic statewide resource, Maryland Kids In Safety Seats (KISS).

45 KISS Can be reached via phone toll-free at 1-800-370-SEAT or

46 Additional Online Resources MIEMSS CPS Hospital Project: Safe Kids Worldwide: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration: SafetyBeltSafe U.S.A.: Safe Ride News:

47 Online Resources, cont’d National Child Passenger Safety Board: Partners for Child Passenger Safety: American Academy of Pediatrics:

48 Other Resources: Maryland Highway Safety Office, 410-787-4077 Safe Kids Maryland Coalition, 410-787-5893 CPS Hospital Project at MIEMSS, 410-706-8647 Many local health departments have Injury Prevention Coordinators or local KISS programs; contact MD KISS to find out where your local resources are!

49 Thank you for your time and your interest in Child Passenger Safety ! Certificate of participation will be mailed to those completing the online conference feedback form which will be available on the website Or by emailing


51 Questions

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