Automotive accidents are a number one cause of death for kids. In 2021, 710 youngsters within the U.S. beneath the age of 13 had been killed in automobile crashes, and greater than 100,000 had been injured, in keeping with the Nationwide Freeway Visitors Security Administration.
Amongst those that died, greater than a 3rd of the youngsters weren’t correctly restrained. And in a nationwide survey by Vehicles.com, 60% of oldsters mentioned they’ve struggled with automobile seat set up.
To mark Nationwide Baby Passenger Security Week and Nationwide Seat Test Saturday, Vehicles.com’s licensed baby security seat technician, Jenni Newman, shared with Fox Information Digital her “dos and don’ts” for proper car seat installation.
Learn on for these necessary suggestions.
DO tighten straps as wanted
“As your child grows, you’ll need to adjust the harness straps’ location in infant seats, convertible seats and combination seats,” mentioned Newman, who relies in Chicago.
A baby in a rear-facing seat ought to have the harness straps positioned at or under the shoulders, she suggested. When forward-facing, the straps ought to be at or above the shoulders.
DON’T flip the automobile seats round too quickly
It’s necessary for folks to know when to go from rear-facing to forward-facing, Newman mentioned.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that youngsters’s automobile seats stay rear-facing so long as attainable to higher defend the top, neck and backbone within the occasion of an accident.
“Keep your child rear-facing until they reach the car seat’s height or weight limit,” Newman mentioned.
DON’T use each: Select the latch OR the seatbelt
Baby automobile seats will be put in utilizing both the automobile’s built-in seat belt or the LATCH system (Decrease Anchors and Tethers for Kids).
Since 1999, federal legislation has required prime tether anchors in new vehicles and prime tether straps on all front-facing baby seats, in keeping with Client Experiences.
Since 2000, decrease anchors have been required in virtually all cars and light trucksand all automobile seats made on or after Sept. 1, 2002 have the corresponding hooks.
Some mother and father suppose utilizing each the LATCH system and the seatbelt will add safety — however Newman mentioned that’s not true.
“Choose one option and go with it,” she mentioned.
“If you choose to install via the seatbelt, make sure to follow the extra step of locking the seat belt retractor to prevent the seat from moving around.”
DO keep in mind the highest tether anchor
The highest tether anchor is usually forgotten as a result of it’s normally on a seat again or someplace not as seen because the decrease anchors, Newman famous.
“For forward-facing car seats, it’s essential to connect the tether strap to the tether anchor,” she mentioned.
“This limits a child’s head and neck movement in the event of a crash.”
DO register your automobile seat
It may be straightforward to miss the small registration card that comes with each new automobile seat, however Newman mentioned it’s an necessary instrument in keeping your child safe.
“Registering your car seat allows the car-seat manufacturer to alert you in the event of a recall,” she famous.
In case you’ve misplaced the registration card — or in the event you’re unsure whether or not you registered the seat — The Nationwide Freeway Visitors Security Administration has a instrument that gives the web registration hyperlink for every car-seat maker.
DO learn the handbook
“Before you install a car seat, make sure to read both the car seat manual and the car owner’s manual for some help,” Newman mentioned.
“Be sure to read through both thoroughly and follow the instructions to the letter.”
DON’T be afraid to ask for assist
“If you’re unsure if you’ve installed your child’s car seat correctly, get help,” Newman mentioned.
You’ll usually be capable of discover a licensed baby passenger security tech at a neighborhood fireplace division, police station or automobile dealership, she advised.
“Seat checks are free, but make sure to bring your car seat’s owner’s manual, car’s owner’s manual and your child or children,” she suggested.
“We recommend calling beforehand to make an appointment and confirm a technician is on site.”