National Child Passenger Safety Week, Sept. 23–29
The Hawai‘i Department of Transportation (HDOT), together with all four county police departments and child passenger safety advocates, launches National Child Passenger Safety Week, Sept. 23 through 29. During Child Passenger Safety Week and year-round, Hawai‘i’s child passenger safety technicians are committed to educating parents and caregivers on the proper installation of child safety seats and correct use of seat belts when traveling with their keiki.
“Car crashes continue to be a major leading cause of unintentional death for keiki in Hawai‘i,” said Hawai‘i Department of Transportation Director Jade Butay. “The use of age and size-appropriate car seats is the best way to keep babies and children safe. We’re partnering with the county police departments and trained safety technicians to remind everyone that Hawai‘i’s keiki need to be buckled in properly every trip, every time.”
The best way for parents and caregivers to protect their child is to use a child safety seat that best fits their child and vehicle. Complimentary public car seat check events will be held on National Seat Check Saturday, Sept. 29, at the following locations and times:
- East Hawai‘i – Target located at 391 E. Makaala St., in Hilo from 9 a.m. to noon.
- West Hawai‘i – Parker School located at 65-1224 Lindsey Road, Waimea 8 a.m. to noon.
- Waipio Shopping Center located at 94-1040 Waipio Uka St., in Waipahu from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- Walmart located at 3-3300 Kuhio Hwy, in Līhue from 9 a.m. to noon.
Child Passenger Safety Week community seat check events will also be held throughout the week as follows:
- Tuesday, Sept. 25 – Na‘alehu Police Station located at 95-5355 Mamalahoa Hwy, in Ka‘ū from 1 to 3 p.m.
- Sunday, Sept. 23 – Adventist Health Castle located at 640 Ulukahiki St., in Kailua from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
In Hawai‘i, children under 4 years old are required to ride in a child safety seat; children 4 through 7 years old must ride in a child passenger restraint or booster seat. Violators are required to appear in court, and if convicted, must attend a four-hour class. They may also be assessed a penalty of up to $500.
Parents and caregivers can check the following to determine when a child can be moved from a child safety seat to a booster seat:
The shoulder belt should lie snugly across the shoulder and chest, and not cross the neck or face.
The lap belt must lie 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.
To educate the public about Hawai‘i’s child restraint law, HDOT is airing public service announcements on television and in movie theaters statewide. Hawai‘i’s child passenger safety media campaign is 100% federally funded.
Child Passenger Safety Week is sponsored by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). 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
NHTSA recommends registering all car seats and booster seats with the manufacturer for a notification in the event of a recall. For more information on car seat safety and to locate a certified child passenger safety technician, visit online.
Hawai‘i has more than 300 certified child passenger safety technicians, including firefighters, law enforcement officers, medical professionals and parents. All technicians have been trained to provide instruction on choosing the right car seat, installing it and using it correctly.
Nationwide child passenger safety statistics from NHTSA:
A child under 13 years old was involved in a passenger vehicle crash every 33 seconds in 2016.
From 2012 to 2016, there were 3,268 children under 13 killed while riding in passenger vehicles. These numbers have been steadily increasing since 2014.
On average, nearly two children under 13 were killed every day in 2016 while riding in cars, SUVs, pickups and vans.
In 2016, over one-third (35%) of children under 13 killed in passenger vehicles were not restrained in car seats, booster seats or seat belts.
NHTSA’s latest research shows that nearly two out of three car seats are misused. When used correctly, car seats decrease the risk of fatal injury by 71% for infants and 54% for toddlers (1 to 4 years old) in cars, and by 58% and 59%, respectively, for infants and toddlers in light trucks.