Car Seat Safety

Child car seatThe number of children injured in car accidents each year is staggering. Often these injuries could have been prevented by the use of a properly installed child safety seat. The American Automobile Association, in conjunction with the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration has established a program aimed at increasing child safety seat awareness, reducing injuries and saving lives.

Car crashes are the number one killer of children. Eighty percent of children riding in child safety seats are at risk because they are not buckled in properly. Your child may be one of them. Don’t take a chance.

Common Mistakes

  • Safety seat not tightly secured in vehicle (moves more than 1″ at seat belt path).
  • Harness straps too loose.
  • Safety seat facing the wrong direction in vehicle.
  • Seat belt not properly locked with locking clip, seat belt retractor or locking latch plate.
  • Safety seat recalled or involved in a crash.
  • Child not appropriate size and/or age for the safety seat.
  • Infant seat in the path of an air bag.
  • Child moved into seat belt instead of booster seat.

10 Child Seat Safety Tips

  1. Infants must always be placed in rear-facing seats until they are at least one year old and 20-22 lb.
  2. If less than a year old and more than 20-22 lb., be sure they ride in a seat approved for heavier babies and continue to ride rear-facing until at least one year old. Children may ride rear-facing in many seats up to 35 lb.
  3. Remember: Never place a rear-facing infant seat in front of a passenger air bag.
  4. Once children are forward-facing, they should ride in a forward-facing seat (toddler seat) until they reach approximately 40 lb.
  5. All children who have outgrown child safety seats should be properly restrained in booster seats until at least 8 years old, unless they are 4’9” tall.
  6. Old/used child safety seats should not be used unless you are certain they have never been in a crash and you have all the parts (including instructions). Seats six years old or older should be discarded and never used. To check if your safety seat has been recalled, log on to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) website.
  7. Always read both the vehicle owner’s manual and the instructions that come with the child safety seat.
  8. Children of all ages are safest when properly restrained in the back seat.
  9. It’s important to remember that the “best” child safety seat is the one that correctly fits the child, the vehicle, and is used correctly every time.
  10. Get your child safety seats checked! For assistance with a car seat, please access the Florida Child Passenger Safety Seat Fitting Stations by County.

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