Rohrich’s Guide To Car Seat Safety
September is National Car Seat Safety month! We have some helpful tips on how to keep your most precious cargo safe when you’re on the road.
Most injuries that children sustain in car accidents are easily prevented by taking certain car seat safety precautions. This includes, first and foremost, buying the correct car seat for your child. Knowing when to use a rear-facing car seat, a forward-facing car seat or a booster seat is paramount in ensuring your child’s safety. If you’re unsure which type of seat your child requires, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has a “find the right seat” search on their website.
It is also important to know when to change your child’s car seat based off of their age and size.
- Rear-facing car seat from birth to around age 2
- Front-facing car seat up to age 5
- Booster seat until a child can fit properly into a standard seat belt
These ages and time frames vary based on the child’s height and weight. If you’re ever in doubt consult the car seat manual as well as the NHTSA website just to be sure.
Once you have the right car seat, it’s all about making sure it’s installed properly and tested regularly. Safe Kids Worldwide reported that seventy-three percent of car seats are not used or installed correctly, so before you hit the road, give it a quick once over. Here is a list of a few things you can do before you leave the driveway:
- Check the label on your car seat to make sure it’s appropriate for your child’s age, weight and height. Like milk, your car seat has an expiration date.
- Keep all children in the back seat until they are 13.
- Once your car seat is installed, give it a good shake at the base. Can you move it more than an inch side-to-side or front- to-back? A properly installed seat will not move more than an inch.
- Make sure the harness is tightly buckled and coming from the correct slots (check car seat manual). Now, with the chest clip placed at armpit level, pinch the strap at your child’s shoulder. If you are unable to pinch any excess webbing, you’re good to go.
A lot of car seat maintenance and double checking takes only a few minutes, which can make a world of difference if you find yourself in an accident.
For more information on car seat safety, you can visit these helpful websites below:
- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
- National Safety Council
- Traffic Safety Marketing
- Safe Kids Worldwide