LANSING, MI – Car crashes are a leading cause of death for children 1 to 13 years old. Many times deaths and injuries can be prevented by proper use of car seats, boosters, and seat belts.
Free Child Safety Seat Check events across Michigan will take place Sunday, September 14th, 2014 to Saturday, September 20th, 2014.
According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, 123,000 children under the age of 13 were injured in motor vehicle crashes in 2011. Crashes are the leading cause of death for children between the ages of 1 and 13.
This week, Child Passenger Safety (CPS) technicians across the state will check and install car seats to teach parents and caregivers the basics of passenger safety for kids.
“CPS technicians are trained to know about car seats and teach drivers the best practices for car seat use in different situations,” said Michael L. Prince, director of the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning (OHSP). “In as little as 30 minutes at a car seat check, drivers will receive hands-on advice and instruction on how to choose the proper car seat and use it correctly.”
National CPS Week is an initiative to raise awareness about the importance of car seat use and encourage parents and caregivers to have their car seats installed and inspected by a CPS technician. Michigan has more than 950 CPS technicians and will add around 15 more following a CPS technician class hosted by Hurley Hospital and Safe Kids Flint at Kettering University during CPS Week.
To receive certification, CPS technician candidates must attend 32 hours of training, pass three hands-on skills assessments, achieve a combined score of at least 85 percent on three written exams, and demonstrate superb technical and communication skills during a car seat check.
CPS technicians must be familiar with numerous styles and brands of car seats, the different types of vehicle seat belt and LATCH systems, as well as the correct car seat for each child based on size, age and weight classification, all of which is taught during the training.
OHSP supports CPS technicians by facilitating training opportunities and providing car seats at no cost to CPS technicians for car seat check events. In 2012, OHSP provided more than 3,900 car seats to low-income families. In addition, OHSP funded six classes including the CPS technician training, continuing education and certification renewal opportunities.
CPS technician training and certification is coordinated by Safe Kids USA in conjunction with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
During Child Passenger Safety Week, there will be more than 600 Car Seat Check events in 45 states across the country where certified child passenger safety technicians will inspect car seats and show parents and caregivers how to correctly install and use them. In most cases, this service is free of charge. Locate a car seat check event here: http://www.safercar.gov/cpsApp/cps/index.htm.