March 19, 2014 | Vol.54 N.12

Buckle up every time, the right way

Lake Stevens Fire and Lake Stevens Police will be teaching Motor Vehicle Safety as part of Risk Watch in local schools this month. LSF and LSPD will cover topics such as the importance of wearing a seat belt, child safety restraints such as a booster seat, and Washington State Laws enacted to help keep children safe while riding around in vehicles.

Lake Stevens Fire Public Educator Jennye Cooper commented, "The two issues that the Police Officers and I focus on are best practices for booster seats and back seat safety laws. Most elementary school students do not know they aren't supposed to sit in the front seat of a vehicle or still may be required to sit in a booster seat because of their height or age."

Car crashes are a leading cause of death for youth in the United States. Additionally they are a leading cause of injury for ages 19 and under, in Lake Stevens.

Lake Stevens Fire, Lake Stevens Police, and Safe Kids Snohomish County offer a few tips to help keep your kids safe while riding around in a vehicle:

• Children under 13 years of age must be transported in the back seat (excluding two seat cars and trucks).

• Children up to their eighth birthday, unless they are 4'9" tall (whichever comes first), must ride in a child restraint (i.e. car seat or booster seat) and the restraint system must be used correctly according to the child restraint AND vehicle manufacturer's instructions.

• Children eight years old or at least 4'9" who wear a seat belt MUST use it correctly (not under the arm or behind the back) or continue using a booster seat AND must pass a five-step fit test to determine if they are ready to move to an adult seat belt:

1. Does the child sit all the way back against the auto seat?

2. Do the child's knees bend comfortably at the edge of the auto seat?

3. Does the belt cross the shoulder between the neck and arm?

4. Is the lap belt as low as possible, touching the thighs?

5. Can the child stay seated like this for the whole trip?

If you have any questions about child restraints, proper placement of car seats, or motor vehicle safety, feel free to contact LSF Public Educator Jennye Cooper at 425-334-3034, LSPD staff at 425-334-9537, or visit Safe Kids Snohomish County's Website: www.providence.org/nw-safekids. Lake Stevens Fire, Lake Stevens Police, and Safe Kids Snohomish County wish you safe travels wherever they may take you!

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