Car crashes are one of the leading causes of death to children in North Dakota and nationwide. In the last five years, 30 North Dakota children were killed due to motor vehicle crashes. Of those children, 30% were unrestrained. Children who are unrestrained or restrained incorrectly are at much higher risk.
During National Child Passenger Safety Week, Sept. 17-23, North Dakota Health and Human Services (HHS), in partnership with Vision Zero, would like to remind caregivers with young children that local certified child passenger safety technicians are available to support them in doing the best they can to protect children before a crash occurs.
There are about 300 technicians in the state serving both rural and urban areas. These certified child passenger safety technicians can assist caregivers with choosing the correct car seat for their child’s age and size. They can also check to see if a seat is certified for safety and installed in the vehicle correctly, and if the child is secured correctly in the seat. These services are offered statewide to reduce injury to children because one death is too many.
Risk factors for child passengers:
- 65% of child car seats checked in North Dakota had some form of misuse.
- Restraint use typically decreases as children get older.
- Many children transition too quickly from booster seats to seat belts. The correct restraint for a child’s age and size offers the best protection.
- Children in rural areas are typically at higher risk of being injured in a crash.
- Children in rural areas are more likely to be incorrectly restrained than children in urban areas.
Car seats and seat belts save lives. In passenger vehicles, car seats reduce the risk of fatal injury by 71% for infants and by 54% for toddlers.
To find a certified child passenger safety technician, visit the child passenger safety resource map at hhs.nd.gov/NDCPSA or call the HHS Child Passenger Safety Program at (701) 328-4533.