State kicks off National Child Passenger Safety Week

Gov. Neil Abercrombie proclaimed this week Child Passenger Safety Week.

State law requires children under the age of 4 to ride in a federally-approved child safety seat.

Children ages 4 to 7 must ride in a child safety seat or booster seat. Children age 2 and younger are recommended to be in rear-facing seats.

“It’s important for small children to ride rear facing as their bodies are naturally more vulnerable to the force of a motor vehicle crash,” said Charles Hirata with the Keiki Injury Prevention Coalition.

“When we say every trip, every time, it’s because these children here are utterly and totally and completely dependent on the judgment of the adults around them,” Gov. Abercrombie said.

Car crashes are the leading cause of death in children ages 1 to 13.

Using a properly installed safety seat reduces fatalities by as much as 71 percent for infants and 54 percent for toddlers.

To learn more about Hawaii’s child passenger restraint law and free community car seat checks, visit the Keiki Injury Prevention Coalition Hawaii website.

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