Child Car Seat Safety Tips

Car accidents are the number one cause of death among small children, but a safe car seat can improve their chances of surviving an accident by at least 71%, says The National SAFE KIDS Campaign.

The good news is that all baby car seats in the market are safe according to the government’s standards. The bad news is that about 80% of them are not installed properly, reducing the benefits of the device.

The first step is choosing the right car seat according to your kid’s weight and age:

  • Infant (birth-20 lbs.) – rear facing seat.
  • Toddler (20-40 lbs.) – forward facing seat.
  • Preschool to 8 years old (40-80 lbs.) – booster seat.
  • Youth (80 lbs. and 4’9″) – booster seat or vehicle seatbelt.

Placing it correctly depends on your specific car seat model. The car seat’s owner’s manual should have the instructions to install it, if you don’t have it, request it from the manufacturer. As a general rule, they should all be placed in the back seat and away from airbags.

The seatbelt must be inserted and tightened into the right guides in the car seat. Push your weight on it as you tighten the seatbelt to make sure there’s no slack and that it is securely held.

When seating your child, make sure the harness fits snuggly, with no more than 2 fingers fitting between the harness and child’s chest.

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