Child Restraints and Seat Belts

Revised October 2008 – Community Concerns

Nationally, automobile accidents are the number one killer of children, youth and adults under age 44.

Role of the PTA

The proper use of child restraints and seat belts saves lives. PTA can help educate parents about the importance of using seat belts and child safety seats in automobiles.

Recommended Actions

Contact California Safe Kids Coalition to sponsor a PTA program on the importance of using correctly installed child safety seats. Demonstrate various types of safety seats and booster seats to show their correct installation and proper use. Make certain the child restraint unit is the correct one for the vehicle in which it will be used. All car seats do not conform to all child restraint units. Emphasize the correct use of booster seats for children who have outgrown regular child safety seats.

Have material available at PTA meetings that stresses the importance, placement, and proper use of restraints/seat belts and child safety seats.

Become familiar with and work for the enforcement of current laws.

Work with the school principal and school board to include restraint/safety belt curricula at all grade levels.

Encourage the principal to plan a school assembly on restraint/seat belt safety. Set up a display for students on restraint/seat belt safety.

Seek and support legislation that will mandate use of seat belts by passengers in all vehicles not now covered by state law (e.g., pick-up trucks, buses and vans).

Resources and References

See “Seat Belts” in the Advocacy Topic Index for related Resolutions and Position Statements.

AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety (www.aaafoundation.org)

American Academy of Pediatrics (www.aap.org)

California Automobile Association (www.csaa.com and www.aaa-calif.com)

California Child Passenger Safety Association

California Highway Patrol (www.chp.ca.gov)

California Motor Vehicle Code (www.leginfo.ca.gov or www.dmv.ca.gov)

California Office of Traffic Safety (www.ots.ca.gov)

California Safe Kids (www.usa.safekids.org)

Center for Injury Prevention Policy and Practice (CIPPP) (www.cippp.org)

California Coalition for Children’s Health and Safety

Child Safety Network (www.csn.org)

Local health care providers

Municipal law enforcement agencies

National Safety Council (www.nsc.org)

National Highway Transportation Safety Association (www.nhtsa.gov)

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