The Aquinnah Police Department has received a $1,500 grant from the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security’s Highway Safety Division to expand its child passenger safety efforts.
The money will be used primarily to purchase child safety seats for free distribution to parents and caregivers in need, according to a press release.
“With this grant, the Aquinnah Police Department can better serve those residents who find it difficult to afford safety and booster seats to protect their children from death or injury in a motor vehicle crash,” Sgt. Paul Manning said. “We can also assist residents in the proper installation of child safety seats and booster seats through our Fitting Station program.”
Nationwide, traffic crashes are the leading cause of death for children ages 3 to 14, police said. Properly installed child safety seats have been proven to reduce the risk of death and injury in crashes, but it is estimated that 75 percent of child passenger safety equipment is installed incorrectly.
Sgt. Paul Manning is available Sunday through Wednesday for fittings at the Aquinnah Police Station on State Road. Appointments are suggested. Call Sgt. Manning at 508-645-2313 for more information on available times.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration advises that children are best protected by using rear facing safety seats up to the specific age and weight limits of the safety seat.
Massachusetts state law also requires the use of child safety seats or booster seats until a child is 57 inches tall or eight years of age. NHTSA data shows that among children under age five in passenger vehicles, an estimated 309 lives were saved in 2009 by restraint use.
For more information on how to obtain or properly install child passenger restraints, call Sgt. Manning or the Massachusetts Child Passenger Safety Hotline at 1-877-392-5956 or go to mass.gov/childsafetyseats.