Perhaps you’ve read the recent story of a 18-month old girl strapped in her car seat who was found alive in an upside down vehicle in a river. Every time I click my four year old son into his car seat I think about this amazing story. The proper installation of that car seat likely saved that child’s life! As a parent, I know that motor vehicle accidents are one of the top causes of death in young children. The good news is that motor vehicle crash deaths can be prevented in many cases if the child is properly restrained. BUT, I also know how overwhelming it is to ensure that your car seat is installed correctly. Below are some essential passenger safety tips:
Pick The Right Car Seat
Car seats are a lifesaver. Studies have shown that a car seat can reduce a child’s chance of injury by 71 percent if he or she is under one year-old. A car seat can cut a child’s chance of injury by 54 percent if he or she is between the ages of one and four.
However, you want to make sure that you have the right car seat for your child. The car seat should be right for your child’s age and size. Furthermore, you should make sure that the car seat is the right fit for the vehicle. Because children grow fast, you may need to change car seats frequently.
Booster seats are another lifesaver. A booster seat can reduce the chances of injury for a child who is between the ages of four and eight by up to 45 percent. Seat belts alone are not sufficient for young children.
The Back Seat Is The Safest Place For A Child
Children should ride in the back seat because it is the safest place for them. Experts recommend that children be at least 13 years old before they are allowed to ride in the front seat.
Older children and teens should wear seat belts at all times. Seat belts can reduce the chances of dying in a car accident by up to 50 percent. Furthermore, studies have shown that 33 percent of the children under the age of 12 who die in car accidents are not restrained.
Hope this helps! ( what are you still reading this for – go check your car seat)