It’s Child Passenger Safety Week!!
Did you know that motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death for children age 1 to 13 in the USA? The fatality rate could be reduced by about half if the correct child safety seat were always used. I have both of my children in Combination Harness to Booster seats utilizing the 5 point harness. My son, 6, asks when he will sit in a seat with just a seat belt and I tell him when he is 15! I joke but I sort of mean it!!!
Safety seats, if used correctly, dramatically reduce the risk of fatality or injury to children. However, research shows that three out of every four car seats are not used correctly, meaning the child is not in the correct car seat for their age, height and weight, or the car seat is not installed correctly. In 2012, over one third (37%) of children killed in car crashes were not in car seats or wearing seat belts.
One of the goals of Child Passenger Safety Week is to encourage parents and caregivers to visit SaferCar.gov/TheRightSeat to determine if their child is in the right seat for his or her age and size and to locate a car seat check event in their area. Additionally, parents and caregivers should be sure to register their child’s car seat with the manufacturer so as to be informed in the event of a recall.
Find the right car seat based on:
Rear-Facing Car Seat
Birth – 12 Months
Your child under age 1 should always ride in a rear-facing car seat. There are different types of rear-facing car seats:
- Infant-only seats can only be used rear-facing.
- Convertible and All-in-one car seats typically have higher height and weight limits for the rear-facing position, allowing you to keep your child rear-facing for a longer period of time.
Forward-Facing Car Seat
1 – 3 Years
Keep your child rear-facing as long as possible. It’s the best way to keep him or her safe. Your child should remain in a rear-facing car seat until he or she reaches the top height or weight limit allowed by your car seat’s manufacturer. Once your child outgrows the rear-facing car seat, your child is ready to travel in a forward-facing car seat with a harness and tether.
4 – 7 Years
Keep your child in a forward-facing car seat with a harness and tether until he or she reaches the top height or weight limit allowed by your car seat’s manufacturer. Once your child outgrows the forward-facing car seat with a harness, it’s time to travel in a booster seat, but still in the back seat.
Installation Resources: If a car seat is not installed correctly, your child’s safety could be in danger. Every car seat has different installation instructions. You can find resources and tips here to help you get “the right fit” on your car seats: http://www.safercar.gov/parents/RightFit.htm
Free Car Seat Checks: During Child Passenger Safety Week, there will be more than 600 events in 45 states across the country, where certified child passenger safety technicians will inspect car seats and show parents and caregivers how to correctly install and use them. In most cases, this service is free of charge.
Locate a car seat check event here: http://www.safercar.gov/cpsApp/cps/index.htm?
Car Seat Safety Tips:
- Find a car seat that fits your child. As children grow, how they sit in your car will change. Make sure the car seat you purchase is designed to fit your child’s current size and age.
- Not all car seats fit in all vehicles so test the car seat you plan to buy to make sure it fits well in your vehicle.
- Before putting your child in a car seat, read the manufacturer’s instructions so you know how your car seat works.
- All-in-One car seats offer you the advantage of using the same seat for the following positions: rear-facing, forward-facing with harness, then booster. These seats typically have higher height and weight limits for the rear-facing position, allowing you to keep your child rear-facing for a longer period of time.
- Remember, the best car seat is the one that fits your child properly, is easy to use, and fits in your vehicle correctly. The information here can help you choose the right seat for your child. Keep in mind that:
- Your child under age 1 should always ride in a rear-facing car seat.
- Children ages 1-3 should be kept rear-facing as long as possible.
- Keep your child in the back seat at least through age 12.
- Be certain you’ve installed your car seat correctly by having it checked at an inspection station or by a certified child passenger safety technician. Bring the Car Seat Instructions AND the Vehicle Owner’s Manual with you to a seat check appointment!
Check out WHY it’s so important to follow carseat safety guidelines and how Buckling Up Saves Lives HERE
Special thank you to the Ad Council, Johnson and Johnson and The Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for sharing this information!