GLEN BURNIE, MD (September 20, 2021) – In recent months, Maryland has experienced multiple crashes on our roadways involving children who had not been properly secured in a safety seat with the correct size for their age, height, and weight.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death in children. To combat this heartbreaking statistic, the Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration (MDOT MVA) is observing Child Passenger Safety Week, September 19-25, by reminding parents and caregivers to make sure children ride as safely as possible with proper use of car seats, boosters and seat belts.
“Children are some of our most vulnerable passengers, so it is critical for parents and guardians to take car seat safety seriously,” said MDOT MVA Administrator Chrissy Nizer, who also serves as Governor Larry Hogan’s Highway Safety Representative. “We want drivers to start reinforcing the importance of seat belts with their children when they are young, so as they grow it becomes second nature to buckle up – every seat, every time.”
NHTSA recommends that children ride in rear-facing car seats as long as possible, up to the top height and weight allowed by their particular seats. Once a child outgrows the rear-facing-only “infant” car seat, he or she should travel in a rear-facing “convertible” or all-in-one car seat. Once your child outgrows the rear-facing size limits, the child is ready to travel in a forward-facing car seat with a harness. After outgrowing the forward-facing car seat with harness, children should be placed in booster seats until they’re the right size to use just the seat belts safely.
Throughout Child Passenger Safety Week, MDOT MVA will release new videos at 11 a.m. on these social media sites: @MD_MVA for MDOT MVA on Twitter and Facebook, and @ZeroDeathsMD for the Highway Safety Office on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Be sure to share these videos with friends, families, and followers:
- Monday, September 20: Child Passenger Safety Week overview – with Myra Wieman, Deputy Director of MDOT MVA’s Highway Safety Office and Child Passenger Safety Technician.
- Tuesday, September 21: Rear-facing – Demonstration of proper installation of a rear-facing car seat and how to determine when a child is ready for the next level car seat.
- Wednesday, September 22: Forward-facing – Demonstration of proper installation of forward-facing/all-in-one safety seats and how to determine when a child is ready for the next level car seat.
- Thursday, September 23: Booster seats – Demonstration of proper use of booster seats and full review of the difference between backless boosters and those with backs.
- Friday, September 24: Seat belts – Guidelines and tips for transitioning from a booster seat to “seat belt only” and the importance of buckling up for all vehicle occupants.
In addition to the educational videos, MDOT MVA supports the following in-person and virtual events held by Maryland Kids in Safety Seats (MD KISS), Safe Kids Carroll County, Safe Kids Frederick, and Safe Kids Montgomery County to ensure child safety seats are properly installed.
Monday, September 20
- Howard County: Fifth District Volunteer Fire Company, 5000 Signal Bell Lane, Clarksville, 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Tuesday, September 21
- Carroll County: Barrack G – Maryland State Police, 1100 Baltimore Blvd., Westminster, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Thursday, September 23
- Anne Arundel County: Fitzgerald Auto Mall, 34 Hudson St., Annapolis, 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.
- Montgomery County: 14111 Georgia Ave., Aspen Hill, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Friday, September 24
- Frederick County: Frederick MVA Branch, 1601 Bowmans Farm Road, Frederick, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Saturday, September 25
- National Seat Check Saturday Virtual Car Seat Check. Register for the Event HERE.
- Montgomery County: 14111 Georgia Ave., Aspen Hill, 8 a.m. to noon.
MDOT MVA’s Highway Safety Office will also share Be the BUCKLED-UP Driver and Child Passenger Safety-specific messages on social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat.
Parents and caregivers are reminded to register car seats and booster seats with the manufacturer to be notified of any recalls. Visit NHTSA.gov/recalls to see if your car seat, booster seat, or vehicle has any current recalls. For a complete list of webinar and car seat events, click here. Learn more about the MDOT MVA’s Highway Safety Office at ZeroDeathsMD.gov or on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram at @ZeroDeathsMD.