POSTED: Saturday, May 4, 2013 - 9:00am
UPDATED: Saturday, May 4, 2013 - 9:04am
Hammond, La — As children across the state prepare for the end of the school year, Troopers urge parents and caregivers to keep safety a priority during this hectic time of year.
Unintentional injuries, specifically motor vehicle crashes, are the leading cause of death for children. Child passengers are safest in the rear seat of the vehicle and should remain in the rear seat until at a minimum 12 years old. Regardless of seating position, every passenger in the vehicle, front seat and back seat, are required by law to properly wear a seat belt at all times.
Child safety seats including booster seats offer the best protection for children in the event of a crash. When properly installed and used, child seats can reduce the risk of fatal injury by 71 percent for children younger than one and by 54 percent for children between 1 and 4 years old. With an estimated misuse rate of 3 out of 4 seats, parents and caregivers are urged to take advantage of checkup events to have child restraints in their vehicle checked free of charge.
On Saturday, May 4th, 2013, from 10:00am to 2:00pm Louisiana State Police Troop L in conjunction with the Louisiana Passenger Safety Task Force will conduct a Ready for Summer Booster Seat Giveaway Event in the Hammond Square Mall Parking Lot (next to Target) located at 411 Palace Dr., Hammond, LA.
Free booster seats will be given to children meeting the following height and weight criteria:
• Child MUST be 40-100 pounds and 40-57 inches tall
• Child MUST be less than 4 feet 9 inches tall
• Child MUST be present
At the event, certified technicians will be on hand to provide parents and caregivers with life-saving information regarding the appropriate seat for each child’s age, weight, and height. Booster seats will be provided to the public on a first come basis while supplies last. Parents in need of a child safety seat or additional guidance on the proper use of their seat will be directed to make an appointment with a local fitting station.
Troopers promote and utilize the newest child passenger safety recommendations developed by the American Academy of Pediatrics. These "Best Practice" guidelines are also endorsed by Safe Kids USA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. www.nhtsa.gov/Safety/CPS 
In addition to Saturday’s event, Louisiana State Police Troop L serves as a grant-funded Child Passenger Safety fitting station every Wednesday from 3:00 pm until 6:00 pm (excluding holidays). Certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians are available to inspect and to assist with installation of child safety seats at that time. CPS Technicians are also available upon request to perform inspections at daycare centers, schools, and various community events.