Car Seat Safety

Car Seats Keep Your Child Safe

The best way to ensure your child’s safety when traveling is to have your child in a car seat that is safely installed and correct for her age. It is the most effective device in preventing serious injury or death in a vehicle crash.

While car seats look simple to install, more than 75% of are found to be installed incorrectly when checked. Be sure to read all of the instructions that come with your seat and that you are using the appropriate car seat for the age and size of your child. Additionally, educate yourself about car seat safety laws where you live and travel.

BIRTH TO 1

  • Tighten harnesses and straps of the car seat until your hand is touching your child to ensure there is no slack in the straps.
  • Always consult your car seat and vehicle owner’s manuals before installing an infant car seat. Register your car seat with the manufacturer so that you are notified in case of recalls.
  • Have questions about your car seat? Contact your local fire department and have them ensure your seat is installed properly.
  • Are you new to driving around with a baby? Leave important items like your purse, cell phone or wallet in the backseat to remind yourself you are not alone.

AGE 1 TO 2

  • Is your child within the height range for their car seat? What is the weight limit on your car seat? Ensure you are within the correct range for their car seat.
  • The best car seat is the one you can use correctly every time. Take time to read the owner’s manual.
  • Does your child care program provide transportation to or from school? Does the provider use a car seat for your child? If so, who installs it?
  • Keep rear-facing car seats turned towards the rear until your child no longer fits in this position.

AGE 2 TO 3

  • When is your child ready for a forward-facing car seat? That depends on their growth. Read the manual and your state’s car seat safety laws to ensure they are safe.
  • A properly installed car seat should not move more than one inch in any direction.
  • Keep a stuffed animal in your child’s car seat when he is out of the car. When your child is riding with you, place the visual reminder in the front with you.
  • Be sure to check out car seat laws and suggestions to make sure your child is in the car seat that is right for her.

AGE 3 TO 4

  • Chest clips are designed to be on your child’s chest, not their stomach. In a collision the clip can cause internal bleeding if it is positioned on their abdominal region. Ensure the clip is on their chest.
  • Car seats have expiration dates. Be sure your car seat has never been in a car accident and that it is in good condition.
  • If someone else is driving your child or your routine is different one day, call your provider to ensure that he arrived at the destination safely.
  • Never leave your child alone in the car and teach them not to play in or around vehicles.

AGE 4 TO 5

  • When purchasing a new car seat, see if you can try it out in your vehicle before buying. This will ensure it fits your vehicle and your child.
  • Ensure your child is always in the back seat and never in front of an air bag.
  • Be sure to read your car seat’s instruction manual and register on the company’s website in case of recalls or safety notices.
  • Be a good role model and always wear your seat belt. Tell your child to remind you to buckle up and make sure they are buckled in.

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