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Utah experts emphasize importance of car seats ahead of child passenger safety week

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Posted at 3:40 PM, Sep 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-16 17:40:31-04

SALT LAKE CITY — In preparation for child passenger safety week, Utah experts gathered Thursday to demonstrate how to properly install a car seat and show their importance to a child's safety.

From September 19-25, The Department of Public Safety is focused on promoting its "Boost for safety" campaign. The campaign is meant to educate parents on proper car seats for children and to emphasize how important they are when driving with a child.

The term "Boost For Safety," is also meant to show parents how essential a booster seat is for kids who are too large for a forward-facing seat but too small for just a seat belt.

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“Kids come in all shapes and sizes, even when they’re all the same age. When deciding on the proper vehicle restraint for your little ones, considering their height and weight rather than their age is most effective,” said Dr. Hilary Hewes, Associate Professor of Pediatrics, University of Utah School of Medicine in a press release.

In 2020, there were 1,468 crashes involving an occupant without a seat belt. Of those, 64 people sustained fatal injuries, according to the Department of Public Safety. Car crashes are the leading cause of death for children under 13 in the United States, the agency said.

Booster seats reduce the risk for serious injury by 45% for children between the ages of four and eight years old, DPS reports.

In light of child passenger safety week, traffic partners throughout Utah will be hosting free classes, car seat checkpoints and helping to educate Utahns about proper safety practices when dealing with children.