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Keep Your Children Safe in a Car Seat

We all want to be able to protect our children. We need to keep them safe. Many of us research the cars we buy and their safety standards. But why do we not go through the same standard checks for our car seats?

Car seats allow parents to provide protection for babies and children in the event of car crash.  However, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, “car crashes are a leading cause of death for children ages 1 to 13.”

The main problem: people install the car seats incorrectly. More than half of all seats are installed incorrectly. This can means the sliver of a difference between life and death. However, such organizations like Safe Kids help parents figure out how to properly place it into a car to keep your travels as safe as possible.

Safe Kids

Safe Kids provides Checkups. A checkpoint includes a technician teaching an adult how to properly install the car seat. Additionally, the technician checks that the seat fits the child. In fact, you can find where a checkpoint is near your house. Or how to search for a local technician.

Check and Register Your Child’s Car Seat

Consider four main points. Parents should

  1. First, always read the car seat’s instructions and your car’s owner’s manual. Install using either the lower anchors or the seat belt to secure it in place. If you choose to use a seat belt to install your car seat, pay close attention to how to lock your seat belt in the vehicle owner’s manual. Since every car seat and vehicle is different, follow all instructions carefully.
  2. Next, place the car seat in the back seat of your vehicle. Make it secure. The car seat “should not move side-to-side or front-to-back more than 1 inch when pulled at the belt path.”
  3. Additionally, if a car seat faces forwards and has a tether strap, attach the seat to the tether anchor and tighten. The tether limits forward head movement in a crash.
  4. Lastly, if the car seat faces the rear, check that the installation puts the seat at the correct recline angle.

Follow the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration detailed car seat installation instructions and videos.

Lastly, many fire departments provide checkups for installed car seats.

Be sure to register your car seat with the manufacturer. This allows you to receive consumer reports and provide recalls. Consumers can also register with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to receive product updates.

R.F. Wittmeyer

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