Do you follow the recommended car seat installation procedures? A properly installed child seat could save your child’s life.
Recent studies show that most parents don’t follow the proper guidelines for installing car seats for their children – or that they don’t use the right seat at all. Understandably, children don’t want to be stuck in a car seat – they want to feel like a grown up. But even seven or eight year olds should be in a booster seat.
The purpose of child safety seats and booster seats is to protect your child in the event of a collision. While the death rate has declined, car crashes are the main cause of death for children ages 3 to 14, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Child seats can decrease the risk of death by 71% for infants and 54% for toddlers, and decrease the risk of injury by 59%.
If you have a child under the age of 13, here are some safety tips:
- Children under two should be in rear-facing child seats.
- Use the tether straps to secure the child seat. These will keep the tops of the child seats secured in crashes. They are intended to make installation easier.
- Follow the installation guidelines to make sure the seat is secured properly.
- Strap the child seat in the middle of the back seat.
- Do not use the LATCH anchor for children over 48lbs.
- Children under 13 should be buckled up in the back seat.
- Reinforce good seat belt usage while your kids are still young, so that once they get older, and go out on their own, they will continue to buckle up.
It’s very important that children up to seven or eight years old be properly secured in a booster seat. Seat belts are designed for adults, and therefore won’t provide proper protection (or comfort) for your child. A booster seat will ensure that the seat belt fits your child properly, so it’s very important that when you buy the booster seat, you check to make sure it fits the booster seat and your child comfortably.