Life and times of Key Biscayne florida


September 11th, 2013

Remember the rules as Child Passenger Safety Week begins


ational Child Passenger Safety Week starts Sunday, and Key Biscayne Police say it’s a good time for parents to review the rules that help protect their kids’ lives.
The KBPD also plans a seatbelt checkpoint Tuesday, September 16, from 7:15 - 8:30 a.m. on Fernwood Road near the Village Green.
Child Passenger Safety Week runs September 14-20, and, according to information from Police Officer Vicki Hernandez, “There are more drivers than ever before distracted by cell phone conversations and texting, not to mention impaired drivers. As safe as you try to be behind the wheel it just doesn’t guarantee that you won’t encounter one of those impaired or distracted drivers. Just because it hasn’t happened to you, doesn’t mean it won’t.”
Therefore, said Hernandez, the department’s Drug Abuse Resistance Education officer, car seats, booster seats and seatbelts are vital – they save lives and offer the best protection for children in crashes. She urges parents to adhere to the following recommendations by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration:
Babies up to 1 year old must ride in a rear-facing car seat; the recommendations say it’s the best possible protection up to age 2.
There are different types of rear-facing car seats: infant-only seats that can only be used rear-facing; and convertible and 3-in-1 car seats that typically have higher height and weight limits for the rear-facing position, allowing the child to remain rear-facing for a longer period of time.
Babies should remain in a rear-facing car seat until they reach the top height or weight limit allowed by the car seat’s manufacturer, which may result in many children riding rear-facing to age 2 or older. Once a child outgrows the rear-facing car seat, they can travel in a forward-facing car seat with a harness.
That typically lasts until age 4. Between ages 4 and 7, children should be in a forward-facing car seat with a harness until they reach the top height or weight limit allowed by the car seat’s manufacturer. Once a child outgrows the forward-facing car seat with a harness, they can travel in a booster seat, but still in the back seat.
Finally, from ages 8-12, children should be in a booster seat until they are big enough to fit in a seatbelt properly. For a seatbelt to fit properly, the lap belt must lie snugly across the upper thighs, not the stomach. The shoulder belt should lie snugly across the shoulder and chest and not cross the neck or face.
Hernandez offered some general advice as well:
Select a car seat based on the child’s age and size.
Choose a seat that fits in your vehicle and use it every time.
Always refer to your specific car seat manufacturer’s instructions; read the vehicle owner’s manual on how to install the car seat using the seat belt or LATCH system; and check height and weight limits.
To maximize safety, keep your child in the car seat for as long as possible, as long as the child fits within the manufacturer’s height and weight requirements.
Keep your child in the back seat at least through age 12.
Officer Hernandez is a certified Child Passenger Safety Technician. She can help residents make sure the seat they choose is properly installed.
To reach her, call the police station at 305-365-5555 or email vhernandez@kbpd.net.

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