Child Passenger Safety Week Car Seat Safety Tips
Did you know that motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death for children age 1 to 13 in the USA? The fatality rate could be reduced by about half if the correct child safety seat were always used.
Safety seats, if used correctly, dramatically reduce the risk of fatality or injury to children. However, research shows that three out of every four car seats are not used correctly, meaning the child is not in the correct car seat for their age, height and weight, or the car seat is not installed correctly. In 2012, over one third (37%) of children killed in car crashes were not in car seats or wearing seat belts.
“Is Your Child In The Right Seat?”
Visit SaferCar.gov/TheRightSeat to determine if your child is in the right seat for his or her age and size.
“Is Your Seat Installed Properly?”
- Installation Resources: If a car seat is not installed correctly, your child’s safety could be compromised. Every car seat has different installation instructions. You can find resources and tips here to help you get “the right fit” on your car seats: http://www.safercar.gov/parents/RightFit.htm
- Free Car Seat Inspections: During Child Passenger Safety Week, there will be events across the country where Certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians will inspect car seats and show parents and caregivers how to correctly install and use them. In most cases, this service is free of charge. Locate a car seat check event here: http://www.safercar.gov/cpsApp/cps/index.htm.
Car Seat Safety Tips:
- Find a car seat that fits your child. As children grow, how they sit in your car will change. Make sure the car seat you purchase is designed to fit your child’s current size and age and allows some room growth.
- Not all car seats fit in all vehicles so test the car seat you plan to buy to make sure it fits well in your vehicle.
- Before putting your child in a car seat, read the manufacturer’s instructions so you know how your car seat works and how to install it.
- All-in-One car seats offer you the advantage of using the same seat for the following positions: rear-facing, forward-facing with harness, then booster. These seats typically have higher height and weight limits for the rear-facing position, allowing you to keep your child rear-facing for a longer period of time, which physicians and safety experts strongly recommend.
Remember, the best car seat is the one that fits your child properly, is easy to use, fits in your vehicle correctly, and which you’ll use every time.
- The information here can help you choose the right seat for your child. Keep in mind that:
- Your child under age 1 should always ride in a rear-facing car seat.
- Children ages 1-3 should be kept rear-facing as long as they fit the car seat.
- Keep your child in the back seat at least through age 12.
- Be certain you’ve installed your car seat correctly by having it checked at an inspection station or by a Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician. Bring the car seat instructions AND the vehicle owner’s manual with you to a seat check appointment!