My youngest daughter lost her baby teeth last month – TWO of them. That officially makes me the parent with no babies any more. And yet – we are still dealing with car safety issues. After a, part of being a parent is always be on the lookout for your children’s welfare. At least in the areas where we have control, am I right?
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! Every 33 seconds a child under 13 is involved in a car crash in the United States. For younger children, car seats can dramatically reduce the risk of fatality or injury – but over half of car seats are either installed or used incorrectly.
Child Passenger Safety Week (September 17-23, 2017) is a great time to brush up on car seat safety tips and make sure your child is in the right seat, with the right fit and installation.
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.