Free Child Safety Car Seat Checks in Hilo and Kona
The Hawai‘i Department of Transportation (HDOT) has announced free car seat checks statewide as part of National Child Passenger Safety Week on Saturday, Sept. 23. On Hawai‘i Island, free checks will be held at Target stores in Hilo and Kona from 10 a.m. to noon.
Together with county police departments and child passenger safety advocates, HDOT will provide the service to educate parents and caregivers on the proper installation and use of child safety seats. Children are best protected with safety seats by using a chair that fits them and the vehicle they ride in.
“As parents and caregivers, it’s our job to keep our keiki safe,” said HDOT Director Ford Fuchigami. “By ensuring children are properly restrained in a vehicle, we are eliminating preventable deaths and injuries.”
In 2015, nearly one in three children (12 years of age and younger) who were killed car accidents were not in a car seat, booster seat or seat belt, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Six thousand of the estimated 116,000 children who were injured in traffic collisions were unsecured.
Hawai‘i State Law requires that children under the age of four ride in a child safety seat; children four through seven years of age must ride in a child passenger restraint or booster seat. Violators may be assessed a penalty of up to $500 and are required to appear in court.
Parents and caregivers can determine that a child is ready to move from a child safety seat to a booster seat if:
- The shoulder belt lies snugly across the shoulder and chest, and not cross the neck or face.
- The lap belt lies snugly across the child’s upper thighs, not the stomach.
- The child’s knees bend comfortably at the edge of the seat when his or her back and bottom are against the vehicle seat back.
- The child can stay seated properly during the entire trip.
HDOT is also airing a public service announcement on television and in movie theaters statewide to educate the public about Hawai‘iʻs child restraint law. NHTSA reminds the public to register all car seats and booster seats with the car seat manufacturer for a notification in the event of a recall. Find out more information on car seat safety and locate a certified child passenger safety technician online.
For more on child safety, as well as a list of child restraint inspection stations and community car seat checks, visit www.kipchawaii.org or www.safercar.gov/parents.
National Child Passenger Safety Week runs Sept. 17 to 23, 2017.