Every year hundreds of children die in car accidents, and nearly 40% of the time these children are not buckled into their car seats properly. Even if parents are just heading out for a short trip down the street, it is absolutely essential to have children buckled into car seats correctly. Read on to find a few tips to ensure that the car seat is being used properly.
Tighten the Straps
One of the most common reasons for car seat failure is that parents don’t buckle their children in tight in enough, which is a shame because it’s actually quite simple to ensure that the straps are tight. After buckling the child in, parents must simply pinch the strap near the shoulder; if it wrinkles, the strap is too loose. Be sure to check that the seat itself is strapped in correctly as well by simply tugging on the bottom of the seat to make sure that it does not move at all and if it does, tighten the belt more.
Remove Winter Jackets
It’s tempting to simply leave children in their winter jackets when the weather gets cold, but this mistake can prevent the seat from doing its job since coats add bulk and can lead to improperly fitted straps. This is because winter coats are bulky and may compress in the event of an accident. Should this happen, the straps won’t be able to provide adequate protection, so be sure to remove winter jackets prior to buckling children in.
Choose the Right Type of Car Seat
Any child who is under the age of two and under the weight limit of 45 pounds should be strapped into a rear-facing car seat. Young children who are strapped into rear-facing car seats are as much as 75% less likely to become seriously injured should their parents get into a car crash, so the appropriate choice of car seat should not be taken lightly.
Use Safety Seats for All Children
Some parents stop using car seats when their children get a little bit older, and this is a mistake. There are plenty of front-facing safety seats designed for children who are kindergarten-age and up, and these seats are designed to help prevent head and neck injuries so it’s important to continue using them. Find more info here to learn which type of seat is most appropriate and get additional safety information.