National Seat Check Saturday is observed on the fourth Saturday in September every year, falling on September 28 this year. This day was started by The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in the U.S. to promote child safety and increase awareness about seat check protocols in child safety seats when traveling. These efforts were put into action due to rising numbers of car accidents in the United States leading to countless injuries and death of children that could have been prevented if they had followed proper safety protocols. It is crucial to offer a child passenger the most basic form of safety restraint while traveling on the road.
History of National Seat Check Saturday
The National Safety Council in the U.S. developed the National Child Passenger Safety Certification Training Program. This is a training program essential for the certification of child passenger safety technicians and instructors who assist caregivers in the safe transportation of their children. The program aims to tackle three of the most common risks that child passengers can face; those being — improperly used or installed safety seats, overheated cars, and teen drivers.
Child passenger safety initiative dates back to the mid-1990s when NHTSA or The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gathered a small team of child passenger safety professionals called the Patterns for Life Team to investigate the protocols and state of child passenger safety in the U.S. After their research, the Patterns for Life Team came up with a nationwide standardized curriculum and a national certification process for technicians and instructors.
Just a standardized curriculum couldn’t accomplish much. They still needed the practical input of people from the field. Another group was formed with representatives from car seat manufacturers, injury prevention officers, and national and local organizations. After this group was established, the National Child Passenger Safety Board was born in 1993.
In 1998, the first standardized safety certification curriculum was published. The National Child Passenger Safety Board is presently in charge of overseeing the curriculum and makes recommendations accordingly.
There have been other initiatives as well to better child safety protocols. A publishing company in the U.S. called Safe Ride News focuses on publishing educational materials for child passenger safety. In 2008, they also published a 44-year timeline of child passenger safety developments — covering a protest in 1965 by physicians demanding automotive safety to the alterations made in school bus seating standards.
National Seat Check Saturday timeline
The team is formed by The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to investigate child safety protocols in the U.S.
The Board is formed after insights taken from a newly appointed group of industry professionals, car seat manufacturers, injury prevention officers.
Overseen by the National Child Passenger Safety Board, this curriculum provides standardized safety instructions and certification to trainers.
Publishing company Safe Ride News put out a 44-year timeline of child passenger safety developments in the country.
National Seat Check Saturday FAQs
Where can I find information on transporting children with special needs?
There are special needs seat manufacturers and their products can be found on the internet. Specialists also offer transportation services for children with special needs. Involving your health care professional in this decision might also help.
What is the best car seat?
The best car seat should fit your child by age, size, and physical development. It should fit inside the vehicle and also meet all federal safety standards. Also, it should have priorly never been in a crash, have a safety recall status and be comfortable for your child to sit in.
Where can I get a free car seat?
You can contact a local Safe Kids coalition near you to inquire about any free seat availability. The following link can help you find Safe Kids coalitions in your State. https://www.safekids.org/safe-kids-coalitions-united-states
How to Observe National Seat Check Saturday
Look up safety instructions online
The NHTSA website has a lot of information about child safety protocols. Make sure to go through them if you are traveling with a young passenger and implement the needful.
Awareness can save lives. Share safety instructions and information on social media to help educate others.
Remember to register the car seat
Your car seats must be registered with the manufacturer either in person or online as they will send the repair service promptly in case of a defect.
5 Facts About Child Passenger Safety
Road accidents kill children every day
The United States Department of Transportation has reported that in the year 2019 alone, road accidents killed two children under the age of 13 and injured around 374 every day.
Correctly installed car seats can reduce injury
In a car crash, correctly installed car seats can reduce the risk of fatal injury in a car crash by 71% for infants and 54% for toddlers.
Child safety seat laws have saved lives
After being adopted by all states, seat laws have helped reduce fatal injuries to children by 35%.
A majority of seats are incorrectly installed
More than 50% of car seats are still not used or installed correctly, thus increasing the risk of injuries to child passengers.
Car crashes cause the maximum deaths
In the United States, car crashes are the leading cause of death among children.
Why National Seat Check Saturday is Important
To protect our children
It is our responsibility to ensure the safety of the child passenger in our vehicle. This day is crucial to remind us to do our part and keep our kids safe.
It makes traveling a safer experience for all
Having the right car seat makes traveling a safe and enjoyable experience for all travelers. You and your child passenger can now relax a bit and sing along to your road trip playlist.
It reminds us to be cognizant
National Seat Check Saturday is a very important reminder for us to be conscious of our surroundings at all times and never get too lax when driving on the road.
National Seat Check Saturday dates