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Go Ask Mom

Museum event focuses on child passenger safety

Posted September 19, 2010

The Museum of Life and Science in Durham will host a special event on Wednesday to highlight the importance of seat belts and the proper use of car seats.

The museum, Safe Kids North Carolina and the Governor's Highway Safety Patrol are teaming up for Child Safety Seat Awareness Day from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday. The event is part of Child Passenger Safety Week, which runs Sept. 19 to Sept. 25. It's an annual campaign that brings attention to the importance of securing kids in the proper car seat, booster seat or seat belt.

During the event, visitors can check out the Investigate Health exhibit to watch a car crash simulator demonstration and see what happens to the test dummy when he doesn't use a booster seat or seat belt properly. The Kids In and Around Cars display will highlight blind zones in front and behind vehicles, the dangers of leaving children in hot cars and trunk entrapment.

According to the National Highway Safety Administration, three out of four car seats are not used properly and some parents don't use safety seats at all.

What's recommended?

Kids over 40 pounds need to be in a booster seat until they reach 4 feet 9 inches, according to Kelly Ransdell of Safe Kids North Carolina. According to a study by the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, children ages four through seven who use booster seats are 45 percent less likely to be injured in car crashes than children who are restrained only by seat belts.

Safe Kids also recommends for infants to be placed in rear-facing child safety seats until they are at least one year and at least 20 pounds or for as long as possible until the child reaches the height and weight limit of the seat.

Once a child is too big for a rear facing seat, they should transition to a forward-facing child safety seat in the back seat until they reach the upper weight or height limit. Then they should move to a booster seat in the back seat, according to Safe Kids.

Kids shouldn't move to the front seat until they are 13, the groups says.

For more infrormation about the event, click here. Activities are free with admission to the museum.

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