BCAA Traffic Safety Foundation's Child Passenger Safety Month

BURNABY, BC, May 31 /CNW/ - June is BCAA Traffic Safety Foundation's Child Passenger Safety Month in B.C.

In 2008 the foundation declared June to be Child Passenger Safety Month as a campaign to increase public awareness about the importance of keeping children safe while they are riding in a vehicle.

Car crashes are the leading cause of accidental death among children in BC. Each year in this province over 1,300 children, roughly equivalent of five elementary schools, under the age of nine are injured or killed in motor vehicle collisions. A correctly installed and used child car seat can reduce the risk of injury and death by up to 85%.

Although the province has not done a recent compliance survey, Marg Deibert, Child Passenger Safety program manager for the foundation says that overall, drivers are following the safety regulations for children under nine years - especially in the use of booster seats.

While this is good news, Deibert says that there are still drivers out there that are compromising the safety of the children in their vehicles by not using proper child restraints.

"A 2008 study conducted by ICBC, showed that while booster seat use has significantly increased, almost 20% of the children using a seat belt should have been in a booster seat. Those are the people that we really need to reach," stated Deibert.

New parents know that they cannot leave the hospital with their newborn without a proper infant car seat, but as the child grows, they may not know what the next stage is.

The foundation wants parents to learn how to keep their child safe in a vehicle. That is why they started running new parent workshops that address questions about child passenger safety.

The educational workshops are 1-2 hours and are designed to help expecting parents and parents of newborns become more familiar with the correct use and installation of infant car seats. Participants learn about child seat laws; how to disassemble & reassemble their infant seat; how to harness the child properly; and how to correctly use and install the seat in their vehicle.

New parents have so much to think about and they receive information from various sources, which isn't always correct, according to Deibert.

Parents can also access information on the foundation's website or call their toll free information line to speak with a certified child passenger safety educator or find out when there will be a workshop or child car seat check happening in their community.

In B.C. all drivers are responsible for transporting all children in a secure age and weight-appropriate child car seat or booster seat until their 9th birthday or they reach 145 centimeters (4' 9") in height.

For more information visit the BCAA Traffic Safety Foundation's child passenger safety website, ChildSeatInfo.ca or call the Child Seat Info line toll free at 1-877-247-5551.

About BCAA Traffic Safety Foundation

The BCAA Traffic Safety Foundation is a non-profit registered charity working with families, communities and business partners to reduce the number and severity of traffic crashes and injuries in B.C. For more information visit www.BCAATSF.ca or call 604-298-5107.

                             DRIVE TO SAVE LIVES

URL for this media release is: http://www.tsfbcaa.com/content/custompages/news.aspx

SOURCE BCAA Traffic Safety Foundation

For further information: For further information: Lennea Durant, Media Relations, BCAA Traffic Safety Foundation, Tel: (604) 875-1182, E-mail: lenneadurant@shaw.ca

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BCAA Traffic Safety Foundation

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British Columbia Automobile Association

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