LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS 11)--In 2015, dozens of Kentucky children died in vehicle crashes. Many of these tragedies could have been prevented if the victims were properly restrained.
When safety experts inspected car seats, they found 9 out of 10 were not installed properly, which can be dangerous, and even deadly for children.
As part of child passenger safety week, the Kosair Children’s Hospital and Safe Kids Louisville is hosting a series of free car seat check-up clinics for the community. This is an opportunity for you to have an expert double check to make sure your children are riding safe.
There are two dates and locations available this week for safety checks:
Tuesday, September 20
Louisville Fire Department, 3228 River Park Drive
9 a.m. - noon
Thursday, September 22
Babies “R” Us, 4623 Shelbyville Road
10 a.m. -1 p.m.
It’s been a year since Kentucky got tough on vehicle booster seats. The new law has the following requirements:
• Any child under 40 inches tall must be in a child or infant seat.
• Any child younger than age 8 and between 40 and 57 inches must be secured in a booster seat.
• All children over age 8 or 57 inches must be secured in a seat belt.
The law, which puts the commonwealth’s stance more in line with neighboring states, is designed to save lives, but is it working?
According to data from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, 39 children (three per month) died in vehicle crashes in the commonwealth last year — half of them were not restrained. Through August 2016, Kentucky has seen 19 fatalities in this same age group (two per month).
Sharon Rengers, with Children’s Hospital says doctors at Norton Healthcare are also seeing the effects.
“It appears that more parents are using booster and car seats,” Rengers said. “We’ve had multiple cases of children involved in accidents who probably wouldn’t be alive if they weren’t.”
It’s not all good news. Rengers said lots of parents still aren’t following the law.
“Our child advocates throughout the state continue to find that more than half of children who should be in boosters are not,” she said.
The other challenge is making sure car and booster seats are installed correctly. The ten most common mistakes parents make can be found here.
If you have questions, or want to make sure your child’s car seat is installed correctly, you can visit a statewide map of safety check locations here.