News 12 This Morning
September 19, 2013
(WRDW)--As an expecting father, Nicholas Hopkins says child safety--particularly keeping his newborn safe while in the car---is his biggest concern, which is why he turned to his mother, Rene Hopkins with Safe Kids Greater Augusta, for advice.
"We've already signed up for the poison prevention, the car seat classes and the sleep safety classes and with that we'll learn a lot more about what type of car seats we need," said Nicholas.
Recently, Safe Kids Worldwide did a study asking about 1,000 parents whether they buckle their child up every ride.
"It was surprising that we found out that many of them don't," said Rene Hopkins with Safe Kids Greater Augusta. "They'll allow exceptions."
The study found one in four parents admitted to driving with their child unrestrained.
"If they thought they were going on just a short trip or if it was an overnight trip or something like that, they would make an exception to allow their child to be unbuckled," Hopkins explained.
Hopkins says allowing exceptions when it comes restraining children in the car can create problems in the future for teens and adults who get behind the wheel.
"Setting that precedent in childhood only creates teenagers who don't buckle up," she said.
Safe Kids also found the number of children dying in car crashes has declined 58 percent in the last 25 years, but Hopkins says there's still more work to do.
"That's fantastic, it's worthy of a hip hip hooray," she said. "However it's still the number one cause of preventable injury for children when it comes to fatality."
And soon to be father Nicholas says these findings only motivate him to put safety first when his child comes into the world.
"Safety's the biggest factor," he said. "If something happens to my child I'd be devastated."
There are four important things to remember when it comes to keeping children safe while in the car:
- keep children rear facing as long as possible
- keep them in the car seat until they outgrow it
- once they outgrow the car seat, have them sit on a booster seat
- don't move children to traditional seat buckling until the they're at least 4 foot 9 inches.
If you want more information, Safe Kids Greater Augusta led by Children's Hospital of Georgia is hosting a free car seat safety class this Saturday the 21st from 10 am to 2 pm at the Master Buick GMC
at 3710 Washington Rd., in Augusta. Just call Safe Kids Greater Augusta at 706-721-7606 for more information.
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