Always Buckle Up Children in the Backseat

Submitted By

Lloyd Jordison
Madison County Safety Coalition, Kentucky
October 18, 2013

The Madison County Health Department promotes the Always Buckle up Children in the Backseat program through education.

James was a busy father and Ashley, his 4 year old daughter, was his world. James and his wife Kelly both worked in high stress jobs and Ashley stayed at a local daycare center during the day. James looked forward to the end of the day because he was responsible for picking up Ashley at the daycare center and bringing her home. On the way home Ashley would tell him about all her adventures she had during the day. James was very conscientious and knew that Ashley’s safety in the car was of upmost importance. Ashley had grown out of her forward facing car seat and needed a booster seat. He researched which seat would be the safest seat for Ashley. He checked her height and weight. He went on line and checked ratings and recommendations for booster seats. His next move was to purchase that perfect seat for Ashley. Then James had Ashley sit in the new seat and tested the shoulder and lap belt positions. He had Kelly come out and learn all about the new seat and the correct positioning for the belts. Everyone was happy and looked forward to safely riding in the car.

One afternoon as James was entering the daycare center to pick up Ashley he noticed there were people checking car seats in the parking lot. The Madison County Health Department staff was at the daycare center checking car seats for the parents. James wanted to confirm his own research. He gladly asked to have his seat checked. As the technician started the check she saw a problem. The booster seat was in the front seat in front of an airbag. James was shocked to learn the booster seat should be in the backseat.

After this experience with James, the technician shared her story at the Madison County Safety Coalition meeting. A member of the coalition that worked in local elementary schools then reported that during parent pick-up at the schools she sees kids getting in the front seat all the time. After some discussion with in the coalition, it was decided to increase the awareness of parents that children under the age of 13 years old should always ride in the backseat. The Federal Highway Administration was contacted and assistance was given in developing a sign that could be placed at all our local schools. Many community groups and agencies have joined in to promote and place signs throughout the county. The Madison County Health Department promotes the Always Buckle up Children in the Backseat program through education.

James, being safety minded, did not object to moving the booster to the backseat. Ashley came out to the car and got into the booster in the backseat. James checked to see that the seat belt fit well across her hips and shoulder. The technician was impressed by their knowledge of how to position the seat belt. Ashley then said she would show her mom where her seat should be. They were last seen leaving the parking lot talking and smiling. No doubt Ashley will be sharing this day’s adventures.

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