Children should always travel in safety seats

Children should always travel in safety seats (Algerina Perna/The Baltimore Sun / September 17, 2012)

It’s Child Passenger Safety Awareness Week, and state health officials want to remind drivers to make sure everyone is safe on the way to school, extracurricular activities or other destinations.

“It is the driver’s responsibility to make sure each child is properly restrained—every trip, every time,” said Dr. Joshua Sharfstein, secretary for the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, in a statement.

Here are some tips form the Kids In Safety Seats program:

+Make sure the car is at a complete stop before anyone unbuckles.

+Make sure kids get out of the car on the safest side, near a sidewalk and away from traffic, and avoid back up around children.

+Don’t let kids wear their backpacks while riding in the car but make sure they are close by for easy exiting.

+Keep kids under 13 years old in the back seat where it’s safest.

+Restrain each child in a car seat, booster or seat belt, per instructions.

+Transport only as many children as there are seat belt positions.

+Don’t ever allow kids in the cargo area of station wagons, trucks, vans or hatchbacks.

+Lock doors and open windows only slightly.

+Don’t leave kids unattended in or close to a car.

+Don’t smoke.

For more information and a schedule of care seat installation events, call KISS at 800-370-SEAT or go to www.mdkiss.org.