September 23-29, 2018: Child Passenger Safety Awareness Week

WHEREAS, 140 children age 14 and under were killed in car crashes in Michigan during 2011-2015, and 27 of these deaths occurred in 2015 alone; and,

WHEREAS, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that nationally the lives of 248 children under the age of 5 were saved by a car seat in 2015; and,

WHEREAS, when installed correctly, child safety seats decrease the risk of fatal injury by 71 percent among infants, 54 percent among toddlers and 45 percent among children ages 4 to 8; and,

WHEREAS, child restraint systems are often used incorrectly.  One Michigan study found that 74 percent of child restraint devices were misused in a way that could be expected to increase a child’s risk of injury during a crash; and,

WHEREAS, it is recommended that children ride in a rear-facing seat from birth to age 2, or when they reach the upper weight or height limit for that seat; and,

WHEREAS, when children outgrow their rear-facing seat, they should be buckled in a forward-facing car seat until at least age 5 or when they reach the upper weight or height limit of that seat; and,

WHEREAS, when children outgrow their forward-facing seat, they should be buckled in a booster seat until seat belts fit properly; the recommended height for proper seat belt fit is 57 inches tall; and,

WHEREAS, children may use a seat belt once they reach 57 inches tall and the seat belt fits them properly; when the lap belt lays across the upper thighs (not the stomach) and the shoulder belt lays across the chest (not the neck); and,

WHEREAS, concerted efforts are being made through the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, the Secretary of State’s office and the Michigan State Police Office of Highway Safety Planning and community partners like Safe Kids Coalitions to increase public awareness about the importance of child passenger safety; and,

WHEREAS, there are more than 1,000 certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians in the State of Michigan who can help families make sure that their children are traveling as safely as possible in vehicles through community-based Safe Kids Coalitions and the Occupant Protection Program with the Office of Highway Safety Planning; and,

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Rick Snyder, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim September 23-29, 2018 as Child Passenger Safety Awareness Week in Michigan.