Child Passenger Safety Awareness Week helps us imagine a new world. Picture a space where every car trip is a safe adventure – even for the tiniest tots.
This is the vision that brought Child Passenger Safety Awareness Week to life. The week-long pivotal campaign raises a sad reality. We must become better at protecting our children on the road.
The week is both a wake-up call and a reminder. It’s also an invitation for parents and caregivers to unite with a focus on child car safety.
History of Child Passenger Safety Awareness Week
Child Passenger Safety Awareness Week grew out of a dire need. The week was established after growing concern for children’s safety in vehicles. The exact founding date remains unclear. However, the week has gained continuous momentum over the years.
The founding came from a collective effort of various organizations. The minds behind the following organizations were the initial founders:
- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
- National Safety Council
- AAA Mountain West Group
- Safe Kids Worldwide
The collaborators shared a commitment to children. Specifically, they had a goal of reducing preventable injuries and fatalities among child passengers. How? By promoting car seats.
The campaign falls along with Baby Safety Month in the United States. It addresses the importance of correctly using child safety seats.
Over the years, the week has grown to address additional issues, from the installation of car seats to educating parents on seat selection.
How to Celebrate Child Passenger Safety Awareness Week
Celebrating Child Passenger Safety Awareness Week means more than acknowledging that car seats are literal life savers. Rather, it means taking proactive steps to ensure the safety of our little ones. Here are some tips for making it a great week:
Seat Check and Installation
Have a kid? Grandchild? Loved ones with a little one? Start by ensuring that the child’s car seat is safely installed.
Child Passenger Safety Awareness Week organizers warn that a significant percentage of car seats are not installed correctly. Incorrect installation can severely compromise safety.
How can you tell if yours is safe? Find a local expert. Many local fire stations, police stations, and hospitals offer free checks by certified car seat specialists.
Educational Workshops and Webinars
Participate in workshops and webinars. You will likely find some offered by your local child safety organizations. Some likely sources of these may be local colleges or pediatric clinics.
These sessions provide valuable insights into the latest child passenger safety guidelines. They also often provide a hands-on look at seat installation.
Share Your Local Awareness Campaigns
Spread the word on social media using educational posts and graphics. Sharing correct information can be a powerful tool in raising awareness among your community.
Update Your Knowledge
Safety standards and recommendations can change. Use this week as a reminder to update your knowledge about child passenger safety. Ensure that whatever you do to keep your baby safe still lines up with the latest laws.
Involve Your Community
- Organize or participate in local events focused on child passenger safety
- Safe roads for children must be a community endeavor
- Spread the word about car seat checks
- Tell other parents about educational fairs
- Roll up your sleeves and pitch in, handing out safety materials in schools and community centers.
Advocate for Stronger Safety Laws
Spend a few minutes during Child Passenger Safety Awareness Week to advocate for more robust child passenger safety laws in your area. Stronger legislation can mean greater compliance. Higher compliance means safer outcomes for children.
How can you do this advocacy work? Make quick phone calls to your local and state representatives. If you’d rather communicate online, Google their office email addresses and send them a message supporting increased car seat laws.
Their website’s almost always have a contact form. Once you draft a message, you can copy and paste it to your other representatives.
Personal Story Sharing
Some of the strongest advocates of car seat use fall into two camps. First are those who lost a child to a tragedy – often due to poor seat installation.
Second are those who used a car seat, which saved their child’s life. If you are up for sharing your story, please consider doing so.
Personal stories can be powerful motivators for others to take action. Speaking up can save lives.