Car Seat Safety – Know For Sure #TheRightSeat
Recently we were driving home from a routine errand and a truck at a crossroads ahead of me was turning left. I had already seen another car from the other direction turning into that same middle turn-lane and immediately began slowing down and moving to the side. Thankfully, the car saw the truck in time and avoided a collision but it was a near thing.
It reminded me that while I can control my OWN driving awareness, I cannot control everyone else on the road. And with five kids riding with me most of the time, that thought is more than a little frightening. That's why it's so important to me that all my kids are in the proper car seats and car restraints. We do not take the car out of park until everyone is properly buckled.
Every 33 seconds, a child under 13 is involved in a car crash in the United States. Car seats, if used correctly, can dramatically reduce the risk of death or injury. But over half of car seats are either installed or used incorrectly, and 1 in 3 children killed in car crashes are completely unrestrained at the time of the crash.
As parents, we all want to do the right thing to keep our children safe and sound. That’s why it’s helpful to stay up to date with car seat safety information.
The Right Seat With The Right Fit
The most important thing is that you get the right seat for the right child, and then make sure it's properly installed in the car. How can you be sure you've got yours set up correctly? Here are three easy tips any parent can do!
- Check the instructions for your specific car seat There's a handy resource page at SaferCar.gov for parents.
- Take your car seat and vehicle to a certified safety check point where a certified child passenger safety technician will help you install the seat if any adjustments need to be made. Use the search tool to find one near you - even in my rural town I had a check point within easy driving distance!
- Register your car seat with the manufacturer whenever you buy a new one in case of potential recall. You never want to get stuck with a car seat that has unexpected dangers.
Don't be afraid to adjust things as your children grow - 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. Each child and vehicle is different so there's no one perfect seat for every situation. With so much at stake it's worth a quick (and free!) visit to a local certified child passenger safety technician and give yourself peace of mind.
What ages are your kids? Are you still using car seats?