Motor vehicle crashes remain the leading cause of injury-related deaths among children ages 14 and under, more than 1,400 child occupants died in 2005. Furthermore, more than 203,000 children ages 14 and under were injured in motor vehicle crashes in 2005. On an average day, four children under the age of 14 are killed, and approximately 600 are injured in motor vehicle crashes here in the United States. In Indiana, over 5,000 child injuries occurred in motor vehicle collisions in 2007, 49 of which were fatal.
One glaring reason for the high number of injuries and fatalities is because children are still traveling in motor vehicles unrestrained or not properly restrained in Indiana. Nationally, in 2005, 53 percent of children (0 to 14 years old) who were fatally injured in a traffic accident were unrestrained. In addition, the misuse of child safety seats continues to be a major problem. As many as nine out of every ten child safety seats are misused in Indiana, which mirrors national trends.
The Automotive Safety Program continues to lead the statewide effort to properly restrain children through state of the art programming, training and education. On this website you will find information regarding training opportunities, programs for children, special projects, permanent fitting stations, and other information regarding child passenger safety. Enjoy!
Indiana’s Child Restraint Law:
All children under the age of 8 must be properly restrained in a child safety seat or booster seat according to the child restraint system manufacturer’s instructions. Many parents are confused about the law, so troopers want to help explain the proper and legal way to restrain their children.
- Children under the age of one-year and less than 20 lbs. MUST be restrained in a rear-facing child safety seat. Many newer seats will restrain a child rear-facing up to 30-35 lbs. Troopers encourage parents to keep their children rear-facing as long as possible.
- Children that are at least one-year old and 20 lbs. may be restrained in a forward-facing child safety seat with an internal harness system.
- Children at least 30 lbs. may use a booster seat, but troopers encourage parents to keep their children restrained in a forward-facing seat until at least 40 lbs.
- Indiana law requires all children under the age of eight to use a child restraint system in accordance with the child restraint system manufacturer’s instruction, which are based upon the child’s height and weight. The child restraint system normally used by children in this age group is the booster seat.
- All children under the age of 16 must be properly restrained either by using a seat belt or a child restraint system, to include a booster seat.
Penn Twp. Fire would like to remind parents and others who transport children the following safety tips:
- Child safety seats must be properly secured to the vehicles seat belt or LATCH system and should not move side to side or forward more than one-inch.
- Children should stay rear-facing until one-year of age and 20 lbs.
- The retainer clip that connects the two shoulder harness straps must be kept at the child’s armpit level.
- Harness straps must be kept snug.