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Parents Still Making Five Common Mistakes When Using Car Seats

This week is Child Passenger Safety Week (September 16-22) so we’re calling on all parents to take a few moments to make sure their car seats are installed properly. Parents are making five critical, but fixable, mistakes when using car seats, according to new data announced today by Safe Kids Worldwide and the General Motors Foundation. With so many safety features now available in both cars and car seats, parents are urged to make sure their kids are getting every advantage by taking the time to do this 15-minute at-home annual checkup:

Car Seat Checkup Checklist

♥     Right Seat?     This is an easy one. Check the label on your car seat to make sure it’s appropriate for your child’s age, weight and height. Like milk, your car seat has an expiration date. Just double check the label on your car seat to make sure it is still safe.

♥     Right Place?    Kids are VIPs, just ask them. We know all VIPs ride in the back seat, so keep all children in the back seat until they are 13.

♥     Right Direction?   You want to keep your child in a rear-facing car seat for as long as possible, usually until around age 2. When he or she outgrows the seat, move your child to a forward-facing car seat. Make sure to attach the top tether after you tighten and lock the seat belt or lower anchors. Continue to use a booster seat until your child properly fits in the seat belt, usually when they are between the ages of 8 and 12.

♥     Inch Test.   Once your car seat is installed, give it a good shake at the base. Can you move it more than an inch side to side or front to back? A properly installed seat will not move more than an inch.

♥     Pinch Test.   Make sure the harness is tightly buckled and coming from the correct slots (check car seat manual). Now, with the chest clip placed at armpit level, pinch the strap at your child’s shoulder. If you are unable to pinch any excess webbing, you’re good to go.

The at-home checklist is meant to be a first step. Parents are encouraged to read the vehicle and car seat instruction manuals to help with the checklist. Parents are also encouraged to bring their car, car seat and child to a child safety seat inspection station near them. For further information go to www.safekidsnewjersey.com.

Northern NJ Safe Kids is Ready to Roll!

Sunny skies were welcomed for the Netcong Ready To Roll Bike Rodeo 2010. Nearly 70 students participated and those who needed new helmets and received them were thrilled. Reflective spoke stickers were easily attached to every tire that was not rolling. This year we brought a new station into to the rodeo. . . HOT AIR! At this station kids were able to fill their own tires with air.

Again, Safe Kids brought a life skill to life. Hats off to our partners, Netcong PTA, Morris County DOT, Netcong Police Department and Cycleworks. Keep rolling. . .

Chester Car Seat Inspection Station Celebrates First Anniversary

The Chester Car Seat Inspection Station celebrated its 1st Anniversary on Thursday, January 21, 2010. The Child Passenger Inspection Station opened in January 2009 as an expansion to the Child Passenger Safety (CPS) Program of Northern NJ Safe Kids/Safe Communities. The station has become a visible force for CPS in Morris County. On average 15 car seats are inspected by our certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians.

The Car Seat Technicians celebrated the 1st Anniversary of Chester’s Car Seat Inspection Station on Jan. 21, 2010

Our partner, the Chester First Aid Squad has donated the use of its ambulance bays and a storage area for the program. Additional funding has been secured by the New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety and Morristown Memorial Hospital as well as Safe Kids Buckle Up and individual donations.

Senior CPS Technician Jackie Leach coordinates the efforts of both career and volunteer CPS technicians. “The goal is to see that every child leaves safer than they arrived,” says Leach. The program has been well received by all.”

Pam Fisher, Director of NJ Division of Highway Traffic Safety, Jackie Leach, CPSTI and Laurie Cawley share a laugh at the 1 year anniversary of the Chester Car Seat Station.

Pam Fisher, Director of NJ Division of Highway Traffic Safety, Jackie Leach, CPSTI and Laurie Cawley share a laugh at the 1 year anniversary of the Chester Car Seat Station.

Hours of operation are the 1st Tuesday of the month 2pm – 6pm and the 3rd Thursday of the month from 7am – 12pm. The  Chester First Aid Squad is located at  100 North Road in Chester. For more information call 908- 879-5560.

Safe Kids Middlesex County – 6th Annual Injury Prevention Recognition Luncheon

The Level One Trauma Center at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (RWJUH) and Safe Kids Middlesex County held its 6th Annual Recognition Luncheon on December 15th in the Arline and Henry Schwartzman Courtyard. The well-attended event was led by Tim Murphy, Director of the Department of Trauma and Injury Prevention, and Diana Starace, Coordinator, Injury Prevention and Safe Kids Middlesex County. The event highlighted 2009’s outreach achievements and culminated with the presentation of outstanding service awards. Carol Ann Giardelli (center) accepts the Outstanding Prevention Advocate Award.

Safe Kids Night at Elkins Chevrolet

On December 7th, 2009  Elkins Chevrolet hosted Cub Scout Troop #439, Den 7 from Tabernacle, New Jersey and assisted  them with earning their Safe Kids Automotive Safety Patch. With the help of Maureen Donnelly, Coordinator, Safe Kids of Southern NJ and Sue Quick from the Brain Injury Association of NJ, the kids learned about seat belt safety, how to use OnStar in the case of an emergency, and  preventing ‘backovers’ with the aid of the “Spot the Tot” mat, demonstrating to both kids and parents that the blind spot behind a vehicle could be up to 15 feet.   The fun filled night ended with the awarding of the Safety Patch:

 For more information about safety in and around cars, visit Safe Kids USA 

Spotlight on Safe Kids Middlesex County: Safe Kids Fair

Children at Safe Kids Fair 2009

Students from local Middlesex County elementary schools show off reflective bracelets they were given at the Halloween and Pedestrian Safety station.

For nearly 20 years, the Level One Trauma Center at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital and Safe Kids Middlesex County has held an annual Safe Kids Fair for second and third graders. This year, approximately 775 children from 11 Middlesex County elementary schools attended the safety and injury prevention program for a day filled with fun, interactive safety demonstrations and information. Teachers are provided with educational materials and resources that will enable them to incorporate the injury prevention information into the curriculum year-round.

Thank you to the volunteers from local organizations that helped to make this a meaningful and educational event for teachers and students: Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital’s Emergency and Pharmacy Departments, RWJUH Emergency Medical Services, Brain Injury Association of New Jersey, Middlesex County Sheriff’s Office, The Bristol-Myers Squibb Children’s Hospital at RWJUH, ShuaLife Skills LLC, and Child Passenger Safety Technicians from the Safe Kids Middlesex County Coalition, the Highland Park First-Aid Squad, Catholic Charities, as well as Safe Kids Coalition members and hospital employees.

Child Safety at Safe Kids Fair 2009

Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Emergency nurses educate students about Pedestrian and Halloween Safety.

For more information about Safe Kids New Jersey events, click here.