How Safe Would Your Child Be in a Car Accident?

child seat safetyNothing is more important than the safety of our children. Yet, according to the National SAFE KIDS Campaign four out of five car seats are not used properly. Here are some staggering statistics about the lack of proper child passenger safety measures:

  • Since 2001, there have been approximately 227,000 children 14 years old and under injured in motor vehicle-related crashes.
  • A recent study found that more than 70 percent of car booster seats they observed were not properly used.
  • There’s strong evidence that if you don’t use proper safety precautions for yourself, you may not for your children either. A study from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that nearly 40 percent of children who rode with driver who were not wearing a seat belt were also not restrained.
  • If you are unsure if you are keeping your kids as safe as possible when you are driving, here are some very important tips:
  • Be sure to refer to the seat manufacturer’s instructions. Most importantly for proper installation, but also for an understanding of proper safety precautions.
  • Children 12 and under should always be restrained in a child safety seat or seat belt… in the back seat.
  • In order to provide the best protection for your younger children, their seat should face the rear of the vehicle until at least the age of two. This protects them from head, neck and spine injuries in an accident. Once your child is 2 years old (and 20 and 40 pounds), they should be in a forward-facing child safety seat.
  • Children between the ages of four and nine should be restrained in a booster seat with a lap and shoulder belt at all times.
  • Airbags can be lethal for children, which is why they should remain in the backseat. They can turn a survivable accident into a fatal one.
  • Your child is ready for a seat belt without a booster seat once they are 57 inches tall. The lap belt should go across the upper thighs, not their stomach, and the shoulder belt needs to go across their chest, not the neck. Their knees should bend at the edge of the seat and feet touch the floor.
  • Lastly, car seats have expiration dates. Don’t use them beyond the stated date.
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