East Windsor police will conduct child car safety seat check-up

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The fourth in a series of five sessions to help East Windsor parents ensure their child’s car seat has been safely installed in a vehicle is planned for 3-7 p.m. Aug. 22 at the East Windsor Township Police and Municipal Court building, 80 One Mile Road.

The free program, during which a nationally certified child passenger safety seat technician will check on the proper installation of a child safety seat, is being funded by a $6,000 grant from the New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety.

The program is being sponsored by the township and is free for residents, Mayor Janice S. Mironov said.

The goal of the program is to teach parents how to properly secure their child in the child safety seat, which is required by law. The technician will make sure the child safety seat has been properly installed.

Under state law, children who are under 4 years old and weigh less than 40 pounds must be in a rear-facing car seat with a five-point harness. Once a child turns 4, the youngster may ride in a front-facing car seat equipped with a five-point harness.

Children may transition to a booster seat when they outgrow the car seat. They must use a booster seat until they reach the age of 8 and 57 inches in height. At that point, the child may sit in the front seat and use a seat belt.

If the vehicle is a pickup truck or a sports car that does not have a rear seat, the child’s car seat may be placed on the front seat, but the passenger side airbag must be disabled if the child is using a rear-facing car safety seat. Otherwise, a child can ride in the front seat in a car safety seat or booster seat.

Citing sources including the AAA and the New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety, Mironov said car crashes are the leading cause of death for children under 14 in the United States.

Properly installed child safety seats can prevent injuries and save lives, but four out of five child safety seats are not properly installed, Mironov said, citing those sources.

Children who are restrained in a child safety seat have an 80% lower risk of a fatal injury compared to those who are not restrained. The seats reduce fatal injuries by 71% for infants and by 45% for children between the ages of 1 and 4.

“The proper use of child safety seats is one of the simplest and most effective means to protect young children passengers,” Mironov said. “This proactive initiative is to focus publicly on the high value of using child safety seats and using them properly. Residents will be given literature offering tips on child safety in vehicles.”

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