Is your child safe in the car?
Did you know that according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), car seat, booster seat and seat belt misuse rates vary from 74-90%? With car crashes being one of the leading causes of death in children 1-13 years of age, it is crucial for you to make sure you pick the correct car seat for your child and learn how to use it properly… and we are here to help!
Here are 5 ways to keep your baby safe in the possible event of a car crash:
- Choose the right car seat. There are four types of car seats: infant, convertible, combination, and booster. Choosing the right car seat means making sure you are using the correct seat that will fit your child’s height and weight. In addition, checking the car seat expiration date is important. If you need help accessing an infant car seat, you can earn one at our center through our rewards program!
- Face the car seat the right way. Your child is safest being in the rear-facing position for as long as possible. Knowing whether your child should/can still be in a rear-facing position is determined by both the type of car seat and the manufacturer’s height and weight limit.
- Install the car seat in the right spot in your car. For most cars, the back-middle seat is the safest place to install the car seat; however, some car manufacturers may not allow it. Reading both the car seat and car manufacturer manuals can help ensure that you install the car seat in the correct spot.
- Secure the car seat correctly. When using the seat belt, lower anchors, or LATCH system to install the car seat, you must make sure that the car seat does not move more than 1 inch side to side or back to front. In addition, it is important to have the recline of the seat in the correct position. When babies are small, the thing they have the least control over is their neck and head. The correct angle can help keep your baby’s airway open, allowing a good air supply, and help the child be more comfortable while in their car seat.
- Secure your child IN the car seat correctly. Whether the car seat is rear-facing or forward-facing determines where the harness straps are placed. If the car seat is rear facing, the straps are above or below the child’s shoulders. If the car seat is forward-facing, the straps are above or at the shoulders. The harness strap must be snug, with no slack to where you cannot pinch any of the webbing, with the harness retainer clip at armpit level.
Taking the extra step and having a car seat technician review your car seat installation can help further ensure that your baby will be well protected in the case of an accident. Car seat technicians are trained to educate parents or caregivers on how to properly use their car seat.
At Prestonwood Pregnancy Center, we have a car seat technician that can help you answer any questions you might have regarding your car seat use and is available for free car seat checks to ensure your child’s safety. You can call us to book an appointment for a car seat check at 972-428-4700.