Attention Pandemic Parents–Make Sure you Have the Right Child Seat

To coincide with Child Passenger Safety Week (September 19-25, 2021), the Ad Council and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) today announced new public service advertisements (PSAs) to help keep kids safe in the car. The new PSAs remind parents to buckle their children in the right car seat, booster seat or seat belt for their age, height and weight, and direct viewers to NHTSA.gov/TheRightSeat for more guidance.

Car crashes are a leading cause of death for children, according to the latest NHTSA data. A child is involved in a crash while riding in a passenger vehicle, on average, every 25 seconds. When installed correctly, car seats can reduce the risk of fatal injury in a crash by 71% for infants and by 54% for toddlers.

“No parent or caregiver ever wants to imagine their child involved in a car crash, but it’s so important to be prepared. Taking a few minutes to ensure they have the right sized car seat for their child – and that it’s properly installed – can protect them in case a crash happens,” said Dr. Steven Cliff, NHTSA’s Acting Administrator. “Our long-standing partnership with the Ad Council will help parents and caregivers find The Right Seat and use it every trip, every time.”

For more than a decade, the Ad Council and NHTSA have encouraged parents to make sure their children are in the right car seat or booster seat for their age and size, and that children 14 years of age and under are always buckled properly in the back seat.

“Parents and caregivers have a lot on their plate right now, and while it won’t always be smooth sailing, it’s important to get the big things right – like making sure their children are always in the right seat,” said Michelle Hillman, Chief Campaign Development Officer at the Ad Council. “We’re proud to continue our partnership with NHTSA to help parents keep their kids as safe as possible in the car.”

The new PSAs, developed pro bono by Leo Burnett, tap into the insight that while parents and caregivers are fiercely dedicated to doing everything perfectly when it comes to their kids, they don’t always need to sweat the small things. In a world full of mishaps, challenges and bumps along the way (such as accidentally turning laundry pink or forgetting that you left your coffee mug on the roof of the car before driving away), the latest PSAs encourage parents to get the big things right, like making sure their children are in the right car seat or booster seat for their age and size.

“As parents, we tend to get caught up in little things happening throughout the day, like messy rooms and spilled milk, and can lose focus on what really matters: keeping our kids safe,” added Jim Stallman, SVP and Executive Creative Director at Leo Burnett. “The work we created is a reminder that we don’t need to be perfect, as long as we nail the big stuff – told through visual stories illustrating that distinction and emphasizing the importance of making sure our kids are in the right car seat.”

The new PSAs encourage parents and caregivers to visit NHTSA.gov/TheRightSeat to find the right seat for their child and for installation tips. On the site, parents will also find a “Car Seat Inspection Locator” to help locate a local inspection station or virtual appointment with a certified Child Passenger Safety Technician for their child’s car seat. This latest creative installment includes TV, radio, print, digital and out-of-home assets in English and Spanish. All assets will run in nationwide in time and space donated by the media, per the Ad Council’s model.

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