A responsible parent is always be on the lookout for their children’s welfare. At least in the areas they have control over. As a parent, I know that it is my responsibility to make sure that wherever we go, my child will be safe in a comfortable carseat.
Did you know that vehicle accidents are a leading cause of children fatality? And half of those fatalities are thought to be preventable if the care seat had been properly installed? YIKES! In 2012 alone, over one third (37%) of children killed in car crashes were not in carseats or wearing seat belts at all – but far too often a car seat that is improperly installed can be just as dangerous.
Everyone knows that using a carseat significantly reduces children deaths and serious injuries during vehicular crashes. But the thing is, 3 out of 4 safety seats aren’t correctly installed or are used incorrectly. Height, weight, and age of the child are all variables that should be taken into consideration when installing a safety seat. A lot of parents think that, once they installed the safety seat, it is good to go, which is quite wrong.
How Can You Know – FOR SURE – Your Car Seat’s Safe?
I highly recommend that every parent take the time to check their car seat’s installation and fit by visiting a certified child passenger safety technician at a check point in your area. These checks are usually free or very low-cost and there are thousands across the U. S. In fact, there’s even one in my rural community! You can search for a check station near you at SaferCar.gov.
Before we selected a carseat, we had to make sure it was a good fit for our kiddo. I never went for the most expensive one or the cheapest. It’s all about what will fit your child. So when you shop, I recommend you bring your child with you because you never truly know which one will fit if they aren’t tested. In fact, we recently switched carseats for my four-year-old who is TALL enough for a booster, but doesn’t weigh enough for a booster. We had to find a bigger carseat that would still have a 5-point harness buckle system capable of accommodating him.
The last area to really beware of is installation. Installing the safety seat should be done by a professional; most people who are confident that they could do the task themselves have been proven wrong multiple times. A certified child passenger safety technician can double check the installation and give you peace of mind. Often, a carseat that seems tight enough can be secured even further making it much safer should the worst happen and you wind up in a car accident.
The bottom line is checking your carseat’s fit and installation is something you should do on a regular basis. There’s no time like the present to stop by a safety check station and know for sure your seat is safe.