1 in 4 parents have driven without buckling up kids | TheUnion.com

1 in 4 parents have driven without buckling up kids

The Union staff

The California Office of Traffic Safety is urging parents and caregivers to have their children's car seats checked for proper installation during National Child Passenger Safety Week, Sept. 15-21.

"Two facts stand out when considering the safety of our children traveling in cars and trucks: Motor vehicle crashes are the leading killer of children under 13, and at least 70 percent of child safety seats are improperly installed," said Christopher J. Murphy, director of the California Office of Traffic Safety. "Even if you believe you've correctly installed the right car seat, come to a seat-check event during Child Passenger Safety Week — or at any time — to gain the peace of mind of confirming your child is properly protected."

A new study by a leading child safety organization, Safe Kids Worldwide, has added a third fact — one in four parents have driven with children in the car not secured at all.

In fact, more affluent parents, parents with higher levels of education and young parents are more likely to make exceptions when it comes to buckling up their kids on every ride.

Men were also more willing than women to bend the rules.

When used correctly, child safety car seats can reduce fatal injury by up to 71 percent for infants and 54 percent for toddlers. The best way to protect children traveling in vehicles is to ensure they have the correct car seat for the child's age and size and that the seat is fitted correctly for the car.

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Parents and caregivers can always visit their local Child Car Seat Inspection Station, where a certified technician will inspect the child car seat and can show correct installation and use.

To find a local inspection station, use the Child Car Seat Inspection Station Locator at http://safercar.gov/parents/CarSeats.htm or contact your local California Highway Patrol Area Office at http://chp.ca.gov/community/safeseat.html.

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