BURRILLVILLE – September is the month police officers, first responders, child safety advocates and community leaders try to heighten awareness and education related to child passenger safety here in Rhode Island, New England and across the United States.
What once was a monthly campaign in February, was changed a few years ago to the month of September by the U.S. Department of Transportation and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration located in Washington, DC. February was not very accommodating for community outreach efforts and car seat check ups across the northern states due to challenging and inclement weather conditions.
I hosted a Buckleupallofus Car Seat Check Up every February at Landmark Medical Center with police officers attending from Woonsocket, Burrillville, Glocester, North Smithfield, Smithfield and Cumberland. These certified car seat inspection and installation police officers dedicated their time inspecting car seats and replacing old and defective car seats during these annual Buckleupallofus child passenger car seat check ups. Landmark Medical Center pediatric doctors, nurses and staff along with those from Hasbro Children’s Hospital, would stand in the lobby behind a podium with wall charts and visuals while speaking to area community leaders, child safety advocates, television media, newspaper and magazine reporters, along with attending families. about the importance of using car seats. booster seats and seatbelts in backseats of family vehicles. I also invited the Rhode Island State Police and area police officers to attend my events, and they would often address these vehicle and traffic safety hazards, and warn adults about the dangers related to improper car seat installations and noncompliance of our state’s seatbelt safety laws regarding children. A key point was always the importance of properly restraining children under the age of twelve-years-old in backseats, not in front seats. Backseats are the safest place for children to ride in vehicles. Infant car seats should be rear-facing installations, and not facing forward.
National Child Passenger Safety Week is September 17 through 24 this year. Over the next few weeks, we will be focusing on child passenger safety coloring cartoons and articles featuring Buckleupallofus and the Bus Stop Kids for the kids to color in while being reminded about buckle up and vehicle safety during this focus month. Remember this Car Seats For Kids campaign. Share and pass out these coloring cartoons to little kids everywhere. It could prevent an unintended injury, and potentially save a child’s life.
Buckle up, all Of us, kids!