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Car Seat Safety



                                                           


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Do you know the 4 stages of car seat safety? having your child properly buckled in their car seat or booster seat can help prevent fatal injuries or injuries.  Every 33 seconds a child is involved in a car crash 



1. Rear Facing - Rear facing provides the best protection for a child whos spine is developing. Rear facing is ideal for newborns up to age 4.  Never place the child in front of an airbag. The harness should be snug below or at the shoulders. The harness clip should be at armpit level.

2. Forward Facing - Ideal for a child who has outgrown their rear-facing car seats, A child in a forward-facing car seat should have a 5 point harness that is properly adjusted to the chest at the armpit level. This is ideal for children ages 2 and up but ideal for children ages 4 up. Attach securely to the top of the car on the inside with the tether strap, seat belt or lower anchors.

3. Booster Seat - For a child who has fully outgrown their 5 point harness ideal for children ages 6 and up. Never put the shoulder belt behind the back or the arm, the belt should be on the child's chest.

4. Seat Belt - When a child is at least 11 years old and who can pass the 5 step test. A child younger than 13 should never ride in the front seat.



What is the 5 step test? 


5-Step Test is the only accurate way to estimate if a child is optimally protected by a vehicle’s lap/shoulder seatbelt system without a booster seat or other type of child restraint. The 5 “test” questions guide parents or caregivers in their assessment of the seatbelt fit on the child. This fit will vary depending on the child, the vehicle and even the specific seating position within the vehicle. The 5-Step Test takes all necessary variables into consideration including child’s size, ability to stay seated properly, depth of vehicle seat and seatbelt geometry. Weight and age are actually unimportant factors for deciding if a seatbelt fits a child correctly.

Taking the 5-Step Test is quick and simple. Have the child buckle up in the vehicle and then answer these 5 questions:
1. Does the child sit all the way back on the vehicle seat?
2. Is the lap portion of the seatbelt low – touching the thighs?
  3. Does seatbelt cross the shoulder properly? (it should be centered over the collar bone)
4. Are the childs knees bent comfortably at the edge of the vehicle seat?
5. Can the child stay seated this way for the entire ride, every ride (awake and asleep)?
Bonus step – Are the childs feet planted firmly on floor?



Tips:

Always read the manual on any car seat and booster seat.

Check your local area for a FREE car seat check, these are free and you will be told if your car seat and child are in the right seat and if your car seat is installed properly.

You can schedule a car seat check HERE

A car is only as secure as the seatbelt the child uses, check every so often to ensure the seatbelt is worn, tethered and the system latch isn't damaged.

Be sure the car seats are inclined properly at the correct angle. Most car seats these days have an incline check right on the car seat.

Be sure the car seat is secured. A car seat should never move more than 1 inch.


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Comments

Julie Wood said…
This is such an important topic to make sure your child's Car seat is safe. I make sure to have my daughter's car seat safe and I had it checked awhile back.
Irene Lirette said…
Times have changed since my kids were in car seats. I"m going to have to learn the new stuff all over again for when Hazel Grace makes her appearance:) Very interesting article and lots of knowledge.
Linda Madden said…
I was shocked that a child is injured every 33 seconds.
J Renee W said…
We just switched to front facing. I look forward to using just the booster seat, but that means that she will be much older. Time flies!
Jessica Cox said…
I have a 5 year old in a booster seat, she is tall, and it amazes me to see people in the school pickup line letting little kids ride in the front seat, with no seat at all. Every 33 seconds is such a heartbreaking number, common sense goes a long way with safety.
I'm sure they're good tips. I've never had to use a car seat.
Jeanne Coulombe said…
So important for people to follow childrens seat belt and car seat laws. Our friend was in a serious car crash and there 3 yr old daughter had a massive brain and head injury but was still in her carseat they said if she would have not been in it right she would have flew out of it when the other car hit them. Thank God shes ok pulled out of it no brain damage. Please keep your children safe.
Melissa Storms said…
They have car seat checks biannually here and I know it gave me piece of mind. They can be complicated to install, I know you can get help here from our local State Troopers.
Car seat safety is very important. It is important to stay current. When my first was born it was rear facing until 1 year old, by my third it was rear facing until 2.... now it is rear facing as long as possible.
Car seats have changed so much over the years. With my kids being 15 years apart, there was definitly a world of difference in them between the 2.
Kim O. said…
it's very important to know this. sadly not many people do. thanks for the tips.
Barrie Mac said…
We took each car seat to a fire department to make sure the seat was correctly held in the car. My daughter was right before the laws went into effect for size and weight for kids to be in booster seats. Still, she was in one till she was older than her peers!
Sandy Klocinski said…
Very important info! So many new developments since my daughter was a baby. Funny, it seems like that was only yesterday!
Edye Nicole said…
Car seat safety is so important! Thanks for sharing.

mia2009(at)comcast(dot)net
MichelleCat said…
The police stations and fire departments plus, highway patrol do free inspections and installations for all vehicles here in California.
Deborah Caudill said…
Thanks for your thorough review of children's car seats and the proper way to install them and in determining the safest way for your child to ride in a car. It seems so complicated that it is important to have an expert examine the car seat to make sure it's installed properly.
Brenda Haines said…
These are all great tips and so important.
mary gardner said…
Thank you for all of these great tips and instructions to secure the car seat properly. I had an intoxicated man run a stop sign and hit my car when my baby was 3 weeks old and thankfully she was safely secured in her seat and not hurt. You can never be too careful with your children.
tat2gurlzrock said…
This is a great post and so important! The local law enforcement offices here have free safety checks and tips at different locations throughout the year.

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