Car Seat Safety Pointers For You And Your Preschooler

By on November 28, 2012

Your child needs a car seat because one, for his own safety and two, it is the law. In the US alone, all 50 states require kids up to 18 months to ride in car seats. Some have laws that require kids up to age 3 to have car seats. Did you know that studies show that kids who don’t ride in car seats are 4x more likely to be seriously injured in a crash? That includes a parking lot fender-bender. 75% of car accidents happen just within 25 miles of the home. 60% happen on streets with speed limits of 40 mph or less.

Actually, most parents recognize the need for a car seat. They just don’t use the seats consistently. Consistency is key to ensure your child’s safety while on the road. Make it a habit for your child to ride this way every single day.

Which car seat should you get?
As the safety standards of most baby and child products have gone up, you can be sure that all car seats currently available in the US market adhere to crash and fire safety standards. The problem comes if you install or use it incorrectly. Choose a model that best fits your child, your car and one that is very easy for you to install and use.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, you should keep your child in a rear-facing car seat until the age two. This is because in a frontal crash, the stress on a child’s neck can injure his spine when he is forward facing. Keep your child in a rear-facing position until he exceeds the seat’s weight limit or outgrows it.

When your child is big enough to face forward, choose a combination of car seat and booster seat. These seats should come with a safety harness that can be removed when the child grows too tall for it. A 5-point harness is considered to be the safest because the straps restrain the child at both hips and shoulders thus distributing the force of an impact to the strongest parts of his body.

Correct installation
First of all, the car seat should be placed in the center of the rear seat. This is the best place to protect your child from a side-impact crash. If you have 2 car seats, that depends on you and your kids. You can place one in the center and one on the right side so that you can see the other child. If your kids tend to goof around or quarrel while inside the car, it might be a better idea to just put them on either side.

Use the tether system. All new vehicles and car seats must be compatible with the LATCH system (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children). Ask the sales attendant for more information.

Always read your car manual and your car seat manual before installing. There should be a section about kid safety in your car manual.

If you can find a free car seat check service from an expert, take advantage of this promo. Check the Internet for sites to bring your car in for a professional inspection.

Car seats can save lives. Be responsible and keep your child safe while travelling.

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