Child Passenger Safety

Our children are the most precious cargo that we carry while in our vehicles, but sadly, 80% to 90% of all child safety seats are not installed properly. Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for children under the age of 14. According to the CDC, in 2005, 1,451 child occupants ages 14 and under died in motor vehicle crashes and more than 200,000 were injured. The Virginia Department of Health also reports that a child wearing an adult seat belt before he/she is ready is 3 times more likely to be injured in a crash than if using a booster seat! According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), during the past 30 years, approximately 8,325 children's lives have been saved by the use of child restraints.

Roanoke Fire-EMS, Safe Kids Roanoke, Carilion Clinic, Roanoke Police, the NHTSA, and the Virginia Department of Health want you to remember the following 4 steps for kids:
  1. Use rear-facing infant seats in the back seat from birth to at least 1 year of age and at least 20 pounds. Children should be kept rear-facing as long as possible based on the recommendations of each individual child safety seat. Never install a rear-facing seat in the front seat of a car with airbags. This can cause serious injury or death to your baby if you are involved in an accident. If possible, keep children rear facing in a rear facing child safety seat until they are at the upper limit of the seat - many times with a rear facing convertible seat this can be up to the age of 2!
  2. Use forward-facing toddler seats with a harness in the back seat from age 1 and 20 pounds to about age 4 and 40 pounds. Children should be kept in a harness as long as possible based on the recommendations of each individual child safety seat.
  3. Use booster seats in the back seat from about age 4 to at least age 8.
  4. Use safety belts in the back seat at age 8 or older or taller than 4 feet, 9 inches. All children age 12 or younger should ride in the back seat - every time!
Please see the brochure for child passenger safety information (PDF).

Seat Checks
Roanoke Fire-EMS, Safe Kids Roanoke, Carilion Clinic and the Roanoke Police Department will be holding permanent child safety seat checks on the 3rd Thursday of every month from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Roanoke Fire-EMS Station 6 located at 1333 Jamison Avenue.

To schedule a child safety seat installation appointment, please call Tiffany Bradbury, Fire Prevention Specialist, at 540-853-5785.