From the moment you have to install the infant car seat to the day they graduate to no car seat at all parents have a number of questions about the safety of their children, many of which depend on knowing that their car seat is safe. Parent have many questions such as, is it installed correctly? Am I using it right? Is it the right car seat for my children? When do I change car seats. All good questions, and yes they all have good answers.
Did you know that:
"Motor vehicle crashes are the no. 1 killer of kids ages 1-13." (Source SeatCheck.org)
“In 2011, over one third of children killed in car crashes were not in car seats or wearing seat belts.” (Source: SafeCar)
“Car seats reduce the risk of fatal injury in cars by 71 percent for infants and 54 percent for toddlers.” (Source: SafeCar)
“In 2011, an average of 2 children died every day in motor vehicle crashes.” (Source: SafeCar)
"Four out of five car seats are used incorrectly." (Source: Harris County)
Car Seat Inspections
This Saturday is National Seat Check Saturday and a perfect time to get your car seat checked. Find your local event here:safercar.gov/therightseat (English) and safercar.gov/protegidos (Spanish). The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration offers this locator for car seat safety inspections. They also offer Spanish speaking technicians information and Child Passenger Safety events.
Throughout Texas car safety seats are available for inspections on these dates and times.
Car Seat Safety Tips
- Know the car seat laws in your state, and if you feel necessary follow the federal guidelines as well especially if you travel frequently. Federal guidelines may be more stringent than state.
- Understand the parts of the car seat: tether's, hatches, three point or five point harness etc.
- Purchase a car seat which fits your vehicle, not all car seats fit the same.
- Know which car seats have been recalled or have "expired". Many parents purchase used car seats which according to their manufacturers are no longer safe.
- "Test drive it," place a sample on the floor and see how your child fits in it before you buy it.
- Do not use car seats in the front seats.
- Use rear facing car seats for infants and as stated by your state.
- Do not use car seats which have been in a crash.
What happens at a car seat check? A certified technician will help to determine if you have the appropriate car seat needed and if it is installed correctly. They will teach the seat owner on how to install it correctly as well as about positioning and strapping your child in. They will also discuss with you other important safety features.
Is your car seat installed correctly?