Recent crashes show need for child safety seats

NORTH CHARLESTON (WCSC) - Four out of every five child car seats are misused, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

"Parents aren't taught how to put car seats in and so it's actually really important to talk to someone who knows," MUSC Children's Hospital Pediatric Emergency Physician Amanda Price, MD, said.

Misuse can include the age or weight appropriateness of the safety seat, or the secureness of the safety seat to the vehicle seat.

"This is their life, you - as a parent - it's your job to make sure your child is safe," Dr. Price said.

To confirm proper installation, technicians will be available to check safety seats free-of-charge at the North Charleston Coliseum on Monday, May 6th.  The drive-through event will be held in Lot E from noon until 7pm.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends a set of guidelines based on a child's age.  If children are younger than two years of age, they should be secured in a rear-facing safety seat located in the back seat.  For children between the ages of two and four, they should be secured in a forward-facing safety seat located in the back seat.  For children between the ages of four and eight (or if they are shorter than 4'9"), they should be secured in a booster seat.

Several recent incidents in the Lowcountry have highlighted the need for properly installed safety seats.

A North Charleston toddler was killed after being thrown from a truck in March.  According to be police report, the child's safety seat was not buckled onto the truck's seat.

Highway Patrol Troopers credit safety seats with the survival of three siblings involved in a crash along I-26 this past summer.  Their unrestrained mother was killed.

The safety seat check is sponsored by SafeKids – Trident area, and MUSC Children's Hospital After Hours Care.

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