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Child Passenger Safety Week
Van Wert County Sheriff Thomas M. Riggenbach announced today its participation in Child Passenger Safety Week, a campaign dedicated to helping parents and caregivers make sure their children ride as safely as possible, every trip, every time. Sheriff Riggenbach said that Child Passenger Safety Week runs from September 23rd - 29th and is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

“Every 33 seconds a child under the age of 13 is involved in a crash” said Sheriff Riggenbach. “Using age and size appropriate child restraints is the best way to keep your child safe.”

Motor vehicle crashes are a leading killer of children ages 1 to 13. Car seats, booster seats, and seat belts can make all the difference. Sheriff Riggenbach stated “Car seats reduce the risk of fatal injury by 71% for infants under 1-year old and 54% for toddlers ages 1 to 4. Children between 4 and 8 are 45% less likely to be injured if they’re in a booster seat rather than a seat belt. 26% of children ages 8 and under who died in car accidents in 2014 were not restrained by a car seat, booster seat, or seat belt. Car seats matter, and having the right car seat installed and used the right way is critical.” Sheriff Riggenbach added that too often, parent’s move their children to the front seat before they should, which increases the risk of injury and death.

“It’s our job to keep our children safe,” Sheriff Riggenbach stressed. “Get your car seats checked. Make certain they are installed the right way and that your children are buckled in the right way. Even if you think your child is safe, check again, so you can be sure that your child is the safest he or she can be while riding.”

To kick off this year’s Child Passenger Safety Week, Sheriff Riggenbach advised that the Van Wert County Sheriff’s Office has partnered with Lee Kinstle GM Sales and Service to provide residents the opportunity to have their child safety seat and/or booster seat inspected by one of the Sheriff’s Office Certified Car Seat Technicians to ensure it is installed correctly. On Saturday September 22nd from 9:00am to 1:00pm residents can stop in at Lee Kinstle GM Sales and Service located at 650 W. Ervin Rd. in Van Wert for a free inspection of their child passenger safety seat. Residents are encouraged to contact the Van Wert County Sheriff’s Office at 419-238-3866 to make an appointment for their inspection. Walk-ins will be welcome on Saturday but will have to wait behind those who scheduled an appointment.

Sheriff Riggenbach stated that the Van Wert County Sheriff’s Office has two Certified Car Seat Technicians, Deputy Colleen Wiley and Deputy Seth Karl. Sheriff Riggenbach encourages residents who have children in car seats or booster seats to contact Deputy Wiley or Deputy Karl at the Van Wert County Sheriff’s Office at 419-238-3866, with any questions about their car seats or booster seats. Residents can also make an appointment with Deputy Wiley and Deputy Karl to have their child’s car seat or booster seat installed or inspected. This service provided by the Van Wert County Sheriff’s Office is available to residents all year, not just during Child Passenger Safety Week.

Sheriff Riggenbach also said the NHTSA recommends keeping children rear-facing as long as possible up to the top height or weight allowed by their particular seats. Once a child outgrows the rear-facing only “infant” car seat, the child should travel in a rear-facing “convertible” or multi-use car seat. Once your child outgrows the rear facing size limits, he or she, is ready to travel in a forward-facing car seat with a harness. After outgrowing the forward-facing car seats, children should be placed in booster seats until they are big enough to use seat belts safely. The safest place for kids under age 13 is in the back seat of the car.


Sheriff Riggenbach provided information on Ohio’s Child Restraint Law:

*Children who are less than 4 years of age and/or less than 40lbs. must be in properly used child restraints in accordance with manufacturers’ instructions.

*Children less than 8 years of age, unless they have reached 4’ 9” in height, must be properly secured in accordance with the manufacturers’ instructions in booster seats or child restraints that meet the federal motor vehicle safety standards.

*Children who are 8-15 years of age (or younger children who are at least 4’ 9” tall) must be properly restrained in accordance with manufacturers’ instructions in child restraints, booster seats, or seat belts regardless of front or back seat occupancy.

Sheriff Riggenbach reminds residents to register their car seat and booster seat with the car seat manufacturer, so they can be notified in the event of a recall.

For more information on car seat and child car safety residents can go to the following website www.safercar.gov/parents

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