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This is Child Passenger Safety Week

February 11, 2002

This is Child Passenger Safety Week



By MARLO BARNHART
marlob@herald-mail.com


Area police and health officials will emphasize the use of child safety seats during Child Passenger Safety Week, Feb. 10-16.

Proper installation and use of child safety seats will be demonstrated by Washington County Sheriff's deputies on Monday and Thursday from 7 to 9 a.m. at Boonsboro Elementary School at 5 Campus Ave.

Deputies will also be stationed at Sharpsburg Elementary School at 17525 Shepherdstown Pike on Tuesday and Wednesday from 7 to 9 a.m. to show parents how to use the seats to prevent injuries to their children in an accident.

Maryland State Police will conduct a safety seat checkpoint Friday from 8 to 11 a.m. at the Hagerstown barrack, 18345 Col. Henry Kyd Douglas Drive.

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Child safety seats can be checked at the barrack at other times but motorists are asked to call 301-739-2101 to make sure someone is available to make the check.

At all checkpoints, officers who are certified by the National Transportation Safety Board will inspect and install child safety seats properly.

West Virginia State Police will conduct a child safety seat check Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Miller's Jeep Eagle off W.Va. 9 East in Martinsburg.

Pennsylvania State Police at the Chambersburg barrack conduct safety seat checks on the first Monday of each month from 5 to 8 p.m. To make an appointment, call 1-717-264-5161.

Pennsylvania State Police at the McConnellsburg barrack conduct checks from 3 a.m. to 6 p.m. on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information, contact 1-717-485-3131.

To find out about other child safety seat checks in Pennsylvania along with information on safety seats, log on to www.psp.state.pa.us.

In Maryland,

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> Children from birth to at least 1 year old and weighing at least 20 pounds must be in rear-facing infant seats.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> From 1 to 4 years old and 20-40 pounds, children must be in forward-facing child safety seats.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> Booster seats are for children about 4 years old to at least 8 years old and under 4 feet 9 inches tall.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> Children who have outgrown booster seats should be restrained in standard seat belts.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> No child younger than 16 may ride unrestrained or in the open cargo bed of a pickup truck.

In Maryland, a vehicle can be stopped and the driver cited for a violation of any of these laws. Fines range from $48 to $50.

Andrea Harris, program director of the Washington County Community Traffic Safety Program, said all children 12 and younger should be buckled up in the back seat - preferably in the middle - which is safer than in the front seat.

Front air bags deployed in even minor fender-benders have seriously injured and in some cases killed young children, she said.

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for children ages 4-15. More than half of those children killed last year in accidents were unrestrained.

Reporter Sarah Mullin contributed to this story.

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