In case you haven't heard yet this week is Child Passenger Safety Week. Being the daughter of a retired police Captain car safety is one of my top priorities. I have heard countless stories for seat belts and Child safety seats saving lives. I have also heard stories of child safety seats not being installed correctly and children getting hurt and even had a close friend almost die and end up with a broken neck at the age of 2 because she was not secured in a Child safety seat. The girls were extended rear facing baby's, they stayed rear facing tell they were just over 2 years old. My oldest stayed in her 5pt harness tell she was at it is limits and has just now transitioned to a booster. In honor of Child Passenger Safety Week the good people at Safety 1st has put together some child passenger safety tips that I would like to share with everyone just in case you need to brush up on your safety seat tips. I would also like to remind everyone that National seat check Saturday is September 20th so if you haven't had your child's car seat checked recently the 20th is a great day to stop by a CPST and be sure it's still installed correctly.
Car Seat Safety Tips
By the experts at Safety 1st
Importance of Rear Facing
In March of 2011 the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) updated their car seat recommendations advising that children should remain rear facing until the age of two. According to a study in the Journal of Injury Prevention children under the age of two are 75% less likely to die or be severely injured in the event of a car crash if they are rear facing. When a child is rear facing their head, neck and spine are better supported and in the event of an accident, crash forces are distributed over the child’s entire body.
Typically the center rear seat is the safest place for a car seat, and never install a car seat in the front seat. If your car does not have a latch connector for the middle seat, you can use the middle seat belt to properly secure the base. When installing, make sure the base of the car seat moves no more than an inch from side to side. An easy way to test this is to hold at the belt path.
Car Seat Expiration
Car seats do have an expiration date, it is recommended that car seats be replaced every 5-8 years, or immediately after a crash. The reason for an expiration date is because plastic can warp and materials can fray, which can make car seats not as effective in the event of a crash. Additionally car seat technology and state and federal car seat regulations change over time. Important warning labels may wear out and instruction books may get lost, which can lead to improper use of the car seat.
Safeguard the Car
Childproof the inside of the car and eliminate projectiles. Anything in the car that is not secured is a possible projectile – even a child’s toy, or a water bottle. In a crash, objects take on greater weight due to crash forces.