HONOLULU (KHON2) — It’s National Child Passenger Safety Week.

The Hawaiʻi Department of Transportation has created a campaign to educate and inform the public on the necessity and proper usage of keiki passenger safety.

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As it stands, the laws in Hawaiʻi require the following:

  • Keiki under four years old are required to ride in a child safety seat.
  • Keiki four through seven years old must ride in a child passenger restraint or booster seat.
  • Violators are required to appear in court, and if convicted, must attend a four-hour class. They may also be assessed a penalty of up to $500.

There are ways to assess whether your keiki can be moved from a child safety seat to a child booster seat:

  • The shoulder belt should lie snugly across the shoulder and chest, and not cross the neck or face.
  • The lap belt must lie snugly across the keiki’s upper thighs, not the stomach.
  • The keiki’s knees bend comfortably at the edge of the seat when his or her back and bottom are against the vehicle seat back.
  • The keiki can stay seated properly during the entire trip.

Un an effort to spread education to the public regarding Hawaiʻi’s keiki restraint laws, the HDOT will be airing public service announcements on television and in movie theaters statewide. D HDOT indicated that Hawaiʻi’s keiki passenger safety media campaign is 100% federally funded.

Also, HDOT said that Child Passenger Safety Week is sponsored by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. You can click here to obtain more information on lists of keiki restraint inspection stations and community car seat checks.

NHTSA is recommending that parents and caregivers register all car seats and booster seats with the manufacturer for a notification in the event of a recall. You can click here for more information.

“Hawaiʻi has more than 300 certified child passenger safety technicians, including firefighters, law enforcement officers, medical professionals and parents,” said a spokesperson for HDOT. “All technicians have been trained to provide instruction on choosing the right car seat, installing it and using it correctly.”

Nationwide child passenger safety statistics from NHTSA:

  • A child under 13 years old was involved in a passenger vehicle crash every 32 seconds in 2017.
  • From 2013 to 2017, there were 3,313 children under 13 killed while riding in passenger vehicles. Fatalities decreased in 2017 from 2016, the first decrease since 2014.
  • On average, nearly two children under 13 were killed every day in 2017 while riding in cars, SUVs, pickups and vans.
  • In 2017, over one-third (35 percent) of children under 13 killed in passenger vehicles were not restrained in car seats, booster seats or seat belts.
  • NHTSA’s latest research shows that nearly 2 out of 3 car seats are misused. When used correctly, car seats decrease the risk of fatal injury by 71 percent for infants and 54 percent for toddlers (1 to 4 years old) in cars, and by 58 percent and 59 percent, respectively, for infants and toddlers in light trucks.

Car seats, booster seats, and seat belts save lives:

  • In 2017, among children under 5, car seats saved an estimated 312 lives. A total of 371 children could have survived if they had been buckled up 100-percent of the time.

Car seats work best when used correctly:

  • In passenger cars, car seats reduce the risk of fatal injury by 71 percent for infants and by 54 percent for toddlers. For infants and toddlers in light trucks, the corresponding reductions were 58 percent and 59 percent, respectively.
  • Most parents are confident that they have correctly installed their child’s car seat, but in most cases (59%) the seat has not been installed correctly.
  • According to NHTSA data, in 2015, about 25.8 percent of children 4 to 7 years old were prematurely moved to seat belts, when they should have been riding in booster seats.

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So, as you are making your way through the daily routine, take a moment to consider the safety guidelines that are meant to protect keiki from unnecessary death and injury due to incidents that are completely out of their control.