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Kathy Klinich – Associate Director, University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute
Kent Keyser – Public Policy Fellow, United Spinal Association
Tara Lanigan – Head of Policy & Advocacy, May Mobility
An eight-year-old boy from Massachusetts is lucky to be alive after nearly being fatally strangled by a safety belt, leading safety experts to highlight the risks of a little-understood feature of U.S. vehicle belts.
Safety at Home during COVID-19 About 4.5 million children are injured in the home every year. Children are now spending an extended time at home due to the shelter-in-place ordinance. Parents must be more aware of household dangers as the most common items can injure or be fatal to children if left within reach. Decrease risk of injuries by checking every room, teaching safety, keeping dangerous items locked up at all times and using these simple tips to keep children safe at home during the pandemic. It seems as though every day we are dealing with something different. School plans, daycare policies and at-home work schedules are frequently shifting for many as the pandemic continues its control on our lives and schedules. Sadly, increased time at home for young children has caused a drastic increase in the percentage of hot car deaths of children getting into vehicles on their own. The average for these types of tragedies is 26% of all child hot car deaths and this year it has skyrocketed to 42%. Tips to make sure children cannot get into a parked car from KidsAndCars.org.
Warning: Fake and Unsafe Products
Many fake and unsafe products are being sold, especially online. These products put children’s lives at risk because they are not safe to use in a crash.
Car crashes produce huge forces. A 30-mile-per-hour crash creates the same amount of force as a fall from a 3-story building. Safety seats and booster seats are carefully designed to protect children from this force. They meet all federal safety standards, including crash protection, flammability, and labeling.
CNN covered this astonishing trend in December, posting a side by side crash test of a fake and actual car seat to demonstrate their concerns.
A concerned grandmother, who was looking for safety seats for visiting grandchildren from ages 1 to 6 reached out to our Safe Ride Helpline. She led us to Carorld where we found unsafe “safety harnesses” for sale at $26!! We reported this danger to the federal government. The U.S. Dept. of Commerce has put a response in motion. Meanwhile, here is their post to complement our flyers, available from Helpful Handouts (link). Be careful; fakes and counterfeits are taking in the unwary. We are here to help!! Report fakes!!
Another Web site is showing the same products that do not meet U.S. crash standards for safety seats. They state the products are for ages 3-12. But now, they state that the products do NOT meet U.S. standards. We believe that they are afraid of U.S. government action; however, there is no reason to believe that these products meet the safety standards of any country. We believe this note shows that we have them on the run! Support the campaign; avoid any site with fake seats, products that do not meet safety standards, or that offer “products meeting U.S. safety standards at very low prices. All of them will cheat your child of safety! Report to NHTSA and the U.S. Dept of Commerce.
Should Adults Use Add-Ons to Adjust Safety Belt Positioning? There are products on the market which claim to improve belt fit for pregnant women. With data from a study using pictograms, researchers found that only 3.5% of North American women were wearing their safety belts correctly during pregnancy. We want to share the response we received with its picture of a real crash-test dummy.
See how child passenger safety fits into the Harvard Business Review article on how donors should assess programs and conversely, how advocates can design booster law campaigns & funding requests. http://www.