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Car Seat Safety

Child safety seats and booster seats save lives. They offer the best protection for children in the event of a crash. Over the period 1975 through 2007, an estimated 8,709 lives were saved by child restraints (child safety seats or seat belts).  That is the good news! Ready for the bad news? Nationally, 9 out of every 10 car seats are being used improperly. Is yours one of them?  Making that split second decision to take the time and install your child's car seat properly before you jump in the car and race to your next destination could be the decision that saves your child's life. Click on the link below to watch a compelling story told by a mother who luckily made the effort to install her child's car seat correctly before disaster struck her and her family...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hOelrDX8Fjk

Now not everyone goes through an experience as extreme as this one, but crashes do happen and that is why it is important to always be prepared. Hopefully, you now understand how important it truly is to install your car seat correctly. Here are some helpful tips when installing your car seat...

 

*      ALWAYS check the instruction manual for proper installation procedures.  The correct and most effective way to install a car seat can vary by manufacturer and even model number so be sure to check out the instruction manual.

*      Install your car seat before going to the hospital so you are prepared to take your baby home safely.

*      Never install a rear facing car seat in the front seat. If you were to ever get in a crash the air bags could cause serious injury.

As your child grows, the rules and regulations change. Take a look at this chart to see if you are in accordance with the general laws for car seat safety.

 

Age

Type of seat

Guideline

 

Infants

Infant seats  and rear-facing convertible seats

All infants should always ride rear-facing until they are at least 1 year of age and weigh at least 20 pounds.

 

Toddlers/Preschoolers

 

Convertible Seats

It is best to ride rear-facing as long as possible. Children 1 year of age and at least 20 pounds can ride forward-facing.

 

 

School-Aged Children

 

 

Booster Seats

Booster seats are for older children who have outgrown their forward-facing car safety seats. Children should stay in a booster seat until adult belts fit correctly (usually when a child reaches about 4' 9" in height and is between 8 and 12 years of age).

 

Older Children

 

Seat Belts

Children who have outgrown their booster seats should ride in a lap and shoulder belt in the back seat until 13 years of age.

 

 

Now that you have been filled in on the "why" and the "how to", do yourself and your child a favor and make sure the next time you travel that your car seat is installed properly.  Making that small extra effort could end up saving your child's life.

 

 

 

Resources:

http://www.parents.com/parentstv/?cid=1620670733&lid=14786547001&tid=16485906001&ordersrc=google04carseat_video&cobrandId=ww5&s_kwcid=car%20seats%20installation|3045303598

http://www.nhtsa.gov/childps/planner2009/

http://www.aap.org/family/Carseatguide.htm