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.
Katie B. says
This is such an important safety reminder! Parents also need to keep in mind that kids should remain in a car seat until they reach a certain age OR weight. When my son turned 8, the law (at the time) said he no longer needed a booster seat but he was short and thin; our pediatrician pointed out that his bones still weren’t strong enough to protect him in the event of even a minor crash, so back to the booster seat he went. By his 9th birthday, he’d grown 4 inches and put on 15 lbs so he was very excited to graduate to the “Big People’s Seating” as he called it.