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?
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 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.
3. Does seatbelt cross the shoulder properly? (it should be centered over the collar bone)
1. Does the child sit all the way back on the vehicle seat?
2. Is the lap portion of the seatbelt low – ?
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?
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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