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Public Relations Manager, VA
O: (804) 323-6510 (ext. 4466510)
C: (804) 543-7190
Senior Specialist, Public and Government Affairs, VA
C: (804) 543-7190
Richmond, Virginia (Monday, November 23, 2020)-AAA and Richmond Ambulance Authority are urging you to check your child’s safety seat. The COVID-19 pandemic changed everything in 2020. Schools were closed, children’s activities were cancelled, cars sat idle and the entire family had to not only adjust to working and going to school from home, but has also been focused on how to stay safe. One important safety measure, however, could have been overlooked due to the sometimes chaotic days as the pandemic has continued now for close to eight months. In that time period, many children could have outgrown their current child safety seats without parents realizing it. Even before the pandemic hit, The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimated 46% of car seats and booster seats were being misused in a way that could reduce their effectiveness. Is your child’s car seat still right for them?
“Car seats are made to grow with a child as their height and weight changes,” said Morgan Dean with AAA Mid-Atlantic “Because of all the disruptions this year, parents and guardians may not have been as focused on checking those seats.”
Children can outgrow child seats and booster seats quickly. As their bodies change, the fit of the seat changes too. Seats need to be turned from rear-facing to forward-facing, straps need to be raised and readjusted and headrests need to be extended as children grow. With drivers putting fewer miles on their cars and not transporting children as often as they would in a normal year, seat adjustment needs may have gone unnoticed. As some families plan to travel for the holidays, now is the time to check child safety seats and make adjustments before hitting the road.
“Nothing is more important than the safety of our children, and we cannot stress enough how important a correctly fitted car seat is, especially this year when you may not be inspecting your child’s seat as often,” said Becky Jamison, RAA’s lead Child Passenger Safety Seat Technician. “It is critical to your child’s safety to make sure their car seat is installed correctly before any trip, no matter how far you plan to go.“
With schools transitioning between virtual and in-person and parents juggling work responsibilities, grandparents, other relatives and family friends are being called on to help with childcare this year. They may have pulled an old car seat or booster seat out of storage that hasn’t been used in a few years. Car seats have expiration dates and should not be used past that date. The expiration date can be found on a sticker pasted somewhere on the seat. AAA and Richmond Ambulance Authority are reminding families to check the expiration date on car seats and replace them with new ones if they are out of date.
Colder weather is also setting in and parents need to be careful not to strap children into the seat wearing heavy coats. Readjusting straps to account for a coat can result in straps that are too loose to protect the child in a crash. Parents should remove the coat, strap the child into the seat, and then lay the heavy coat over them if it’s cold in the car. Layering thinner cold-weather clothing like fleece can help keep a child warm, but not create a safety hazard, in a car seat.
On Tuesday, November 24th, AAA and Richmond Ambulance Authority will be holding a Virtual Child Car Seat Safety Demonstration Facebook Live on both the Richmond Ambulance Authority and AAA Mid-Atlantic News pages at Noon to help guide parents on how to check their child’s car seats to make sure they are installed and fitted correctly.
Common Car Seat Mistakes:
Residents in the City of Richmond can schedule a free inspection of their child’s car seat at RAA’s headquarters. One of the agency’s Child Passenger Safety Seat Technicians will inspect and instruct parents/guardians on how to properly install a child’s car safety seat. For more information visit https://raaems.org/outreach/#programs
For residents outside of Richmond, visit the Virginia Department of Health’s website at https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/child-passenger-safety/safety-seat-checks/ to locate a Safety Seat Check Station closest to you.
About the Richmond Ambulance Authority: In 1991, the Richmond City Council and the City Manager implemented an Emergency Medical Services (EMS) system that placed the patient first and guaranteed its performance to the City's residents. Today, the Richmond Ambulance Authority responds to approximately 200 calls per day and transports, on average, 150 patients per day. RAA’s emergency response times are among the fastest in the nation with ambulances on the scene of life threatening emergencies in less than 8 minutes and 59 seconds in more than 90% of all responses. RAA is one of only 32 EMS agencies in the United States accredited by both the Commission on the Accreditation of Ambulance Services and the National Academies of Emergency Dispatch. RAA is a Commonwealth of Virginia Accredited Dispatch Center. RAA is also the 2016 Virginia EMS Agency of the Year.
VA Mailing Address:
9210 Arboretum Pkwy, Ste 290
Richmond, VA 23236
AAA provides automotive, travel and insurance services to 57 million members nationwide and more than one million members in Virginia. AAA advocates for the safety and mobility of its members and has been committed to outstanding road service for more than 100 years. The not-for-profit, fully tax-paying member organization works on behalf of motorists, who can now map a route, find local gas prices, discover discounts, book a hotel and track their roadside assistance service with the AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android.
For more information, visit www.AAA.com.
Who's in the Driver's Seat? The Transformation of Transportation
On Tuesday, October 17, 2017, AAA and TEDx Wilmington held the first TEDx Salon dedicated to ideas worth spreading in transportation.
This event had:
This TEDx WilmingtonSalon was organized in partnership with AAA
Go to Other AAA Clubs
This site serves residents of the AAA Club Alliance service area which includes Greater Hartford, CT Area, Cincinnati Tri-State Area, Miami County, OH, Greater Dayton, OH Area, Northwest Ohio, AAA Blue Grass & Bluefield Regions, Southern West Virginia, Kansas, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Delaware, Maryland, Washington DC, and parts of Virginia, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Write Us: AAA Club Alliance, One River Place, Wilmington, DE 19801