News from the desk of Sheriff Potter


“Ensuring a Safe Ride: Child Passenger Safety Week”
Dear DeSoto County,
In the third week of September, DeSoto County Sheriff’s Office is proud to address an annual recognition week that serves as a crucial reminder of the importance of safeguarding our most precious cargo when on the roadways – our children.
As your Sheriff, I am committed to the safety and well-being of our community, especially our youngest members. From September 17 – September 23, 2023, we will come together to raise awareness about the vital steps we can take to ensure our children are protected when traveling in vehicles.
The Importance of Child Passenger Safety
Car crashes are a leading cause of death for children, as 710 children under 13 were killed in passenger vehicles in 2021, and more than 100,000 were injured. In 2021, more than 36% of children under 13 who died while riding in passenger vehicles were unrestrained. It is our collective responsibility to reduce these statistics and ensure every child in our community is safe when they are inside a vehicle.
Choosing the Right Child Safety Seat
Selecting the appropriate child safety seat is the first step toward ensuring a safe ride for your child. Factors such as age, weight and height should all be considered when choosing the right seat. Infant seats, convertible seats and booster seats are designed to provide the necessary protection for children of varying ages and sizes. I advise you to always follow the manufacturer's guidelines and ensure a snug and secure fit for your child.
Proper Installation is Key
Even the most advanced safety seat will only be effective if it is installed correctly. This is where many caregivers inadvertently put their children at risk. I urge each of you to take the time to read your vehicle and child safety seat manuals carefully. If you have any doubts about installation, consider seeking assistance from a certified Child Passenger Safety Technician, or visit the DeSoto County Sheriff’s Office.
Seat Belt Safety for Older Children
As our children grow, it is essential to transition them to the appropriate type of restraint system. Seat belts play a critical role in protecting older children and adults. Ensure that your child is tall enough to fit comfortably without a booster seat and understands the importance of always wearing a seat belt.
Lead by Example
Our children look to us for guidance, so it’s crucial to always try and set the best example. Always wear your seat belt and ensure that all passengers in your vehicle are buckled up. Teaching our children the importance of seat belt safety from a young age creates lifelong habits that can save lives.
Child Passenger Safety Week is an excellent opportunity to refresh our knowledge about child safety seats and seat belt safety. I encourage you to take this time to educate yourself and others about the latest safety recommendations and laws in our state. Stay informed and spread the word about the importance of child passenger safety.
Be Kind, Be Safe, God Bless.
Sheriff Jim Potter