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Car safety tips to keep in mind this school year

Car accidents involving children usually happen within a few miles of a home. So, it’s best to be sure that everyone, especially young children, is properly secured in their seats.

Posted: Aug 20, 2021 9:25 PM
Updated: Aug 20, 2021 10:26 PM

LAFAYETTE, LA (KADN)- The school year has begun and many parents are getting back into the habit of bringing their kids to school.

Some may be rushing to get to school on time and others may have to wait in long car lines for drop-offs and pick-up, but the most important thing to remember is to make sure your kids are strapped in their seats.

According to Tracy LeMaire, the regional director of the Louisiana Passenger Safety Task Force, car accidents involving children usually happen within a few miles of a home. So, it’s best to be sure that everyone, especially young children, is properly secured in their seats.

“Because if somebody should bump into them while they're in the car riders' line, you know, it could be just a minor bump, but it could cause a lot of damage if a child lurches forward too far,” LeMaire said.

Children under the age of four should always remain in a car seat.

“Most people in the state of Louisiana and nationwide install car seats incorrectly. Nine out of 10 people in Louisiana, eight out of 10 in the country,” she said.

Children have to stay rear-facing in their car seats until they are two years old and outgrow the seat by height and weight.

“Always look at the labels on the seats, and in the instructions and make sure you're using the seat to the maximum option that's available that's the way the law is for Louisiana,” she said.

Children also have to be at least four years old and outgrow the seat by height and weight in order to graduate to a booster seat.

“Make sure that the child is buckling themselves correctly when in the booster and when they are unbuckling themselves they do not accidentally unbuckle other car seats that might be right next to the same buckle,” she said.

The regional director advises parents that have multiple children or carpool to never overcrowd the vehicle.

“Always only have enough people that there are seatbelts for you should not be sharing a seatbelt,” she said.

Under Louisiana law, children must remain in the backseat until the age of 13.

The Louisiana Passenger Safety Task Force provides free car seat training to any parent in Acadiana. The program is funded through the University Medical Center of New Orleans through the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission.

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