Children at Clinton Park Elementary now know about Mississippi’s booster seat law after a visit from delightful, furry mascot Ollie the Otter. This law requires that children ages 4 – 7 must ride in a booster seat if shorter than 4’9” or weigh less than 65 lbs. Drivers must adhere to this law or will receive a traffic ticket.
On Friday, January 27th , Ollie Otter taught students to ride in the back seat because the back seat of a car is the safest place for small bodies. In the event of a crash, if a child is in the front seat, the airbag can damage the spinal cord, causing life-altering injuries or death. Officer Chad Blisset with the Clinton Police Department spoke to children about ways to stay safe in the car and helped measure them to confirm that kids this age need booster seats.
Gabi Jones, children’s safety teacher with Mississippi Safety Services, spoke for Ollie Otter. She taught children how to ride safely in the car, reciting Ollie’s memorable slogans: “Under 4’9” –It’s Booster Time!”, “The Back is Best!”, and “You Otter Buckle Up!” Mr. Ivory Gray, assistant principal at Clinton Park, states that the presentation was “a fun and engaging way for students to learn about seat belt safety. Live demonstrations gave students the real feel for being in a booster seat.”
Children need to use booster seats after they outgrow their safety seat at age 5 or 6. Vehicle collision researchers find that young children are too small for standard seat belts and must use booster seats for the belt to fit correctly across the strong bones in the hip and shoulder.
Mississippi has the highest traffic death rate and one of the lowest child restraint usage rates in the United States. For every 100 child deaths, approximately 75 children could have survived if properly buckled and restrained. Officer Chad Blisset of the Clinton Police Department encourages parents to pay attention to their children’s safety, “Sometimes they may realize they’re in a hurry to get where they’re going, but their number one priority is to get their children there safe. We just want everyone to be safe.” Parents and guardians, please ensure you are buckling up your children correctly; thank you for protecting young lives!
Pictured (left to right):
- Officer Chad Blisset
- Principal Kelli Pope
- Assistant Principal Ivory Gray
- Hamrita Singh
- Emmett Abercrumbier
- Oliver Koehn
- Ayden Gates
- Taylor Upp
- Caitlyn Jiles (Ollie)
- Children’s Safety Teacher, Gabi Jones