Safe Kids Kansas

Preventing Accidental Injury.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 14, 2010

KDHE Office of Communications
communications@kdheks.gov, 785-296-0461

Safety Event to Highlight Free Inspections
of Child Passenger Safety Seat Installations

Salina mom will tell how kids survived rollover crash that destroyed SUV

The National Child Passenger Safety Week is September 19-25. To kick off the Kansas’ observance of this week, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) Safe Kids program along with other traffic safety advocates across Kansas are hosting a media event at the official child passenger safety station for Douglas, Jefferson and Leavenworth counties at Lawrence Memorial Hospital, 225 Maine Street in Lawrence on Friday, September 17 at 10 a.m.

The event will focus on the potential life-and-death implications of installation issues for these vital pieces of safety equipment and the free statewide program designed to help parents ensure they are installed properly. The focus of Child Passenger Safety Week is to ensure children ride in properly installed child safety seats, especially those in the four to eight year-old range, who should be riding in booster seats.

Members of the media attending the event will be able to witness and photograph actual inspections of vehicles taking place immediately after the program, as well as interview officials in attendance.

John Drees, the Safe Kids Douglas County coordinator and a CPST, oversees the seat installation inspection program in Lawrence. He has seen first-hand how many well-meaning parents incorrectly install the seats and unknowingly putting their children at risk. Drees estimates about 80 percent of the car seats he inspects need safety adjustments.

Amanda Meier of Salina had a nationally certified child passenger safety technician (CPST) inspect the installation of the child safety seats in her SUV.  Meier attributes that simple step as to why her children survived a serious crash in February and she, nor her two children suffered as much as a scratch.

Cherie Sage will discuss the vital importance of booster seats for children ages five through nine. While surveys show 97 percent of Kansas families use child safety seats for infants and toddlers from birth to age four, the usage rate drops to an alarming 76 percent for children ages five through nine.    (For information on the Kansas booster seat law, visit www.kansasboosterseat.org. )

Also on hand will be Jim Hanni, Executive Vice President of Public and Government Affairs of AAA Motor Club of Kansas, who will present a $19,000 donation to the SAFE Program, a special peer-directed seat belt advocacy program for Kansas teens. Jason Hammes, President of the Kansas Motor Carriers Association, will donate 105 booster seats to a representative of the Kansas Highway Patrol.

Safe Kids Kansas, Inc. is a nonprofit Coalition of over 70 statewide organizations and businesses dedicated to preventing accidental injuries to Kansas children ages 0-14.   Local coalitions and chapters cover Allen, Anderson, Atchison, Butler, Clay, Coffey, Dickinson, Doniphan, Douglas, Elk, Ellis, Finney, Geary, Harvey, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnson, Labette, Leavenworth, Marion, Marshall, McPherson, Meade, Mitchell, Montgomery, Pottawatomie, Riley, Saline, Sedgwick, Shawnee, Smith, Sumner, and Wilson counties, as well as the city of  Emporia and the Metro Kansas City Area (Wyandotte county and several Missouri counties.)  Safe Kids Kansas a member of Safe Kids Worldwide, a global network of organizations whose mission is to prevent accidental childhood injury. The lead agency for Safe Kids Kansas is the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

Visit us at www.safekidskansas.org and on Facebook.