The week of September 18 through 24 has been designated as Child Passenger Safety Week. Obviously, parents and caretakers want to keep kids safe—the emphasis for this week is to make sure parents and caretakers are not only properly restraining kids in vehicles but using the correct car seat for each child based on their age and size.
A recent report released from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on data from 20151 showed an uptick in the number of children killed in vehicle accidents. Since this is only one year’s worth of data it is hard to draw direct relationships as to the cause(s) for this increase. What we do know is that in spite of increasingly sophisticated safety technology in our vehicles and car seats—the car seats won't work if they are not used or are installed incorrectly! Did you know that overall car seat and booster seat misuse was 46 percent in 20152?
Here’s the good news, you don’t need an engineering degree to correctly install a car seat—you just need to know where to go to get help. There are a lot of resources available to help you research the best car seat option for your child. One of the most helpful resources is the Ultimate Car Seat Guide, created by Safe Kids Worldwide with help from automaker General Motors.
This guide covers how to:
- Find the correct car seat based on your child’s age, height and weight.
- Make sure it is correctly installed.
- Register your car seat—to receive recall notices.
- Know when your child is ready for the next car seat option.
To get help or to make sure you properly install a car seat, check out the following link to find a car seat checkup event in your area. And remember, children learn by following your lead—set a positive example and always wear your seat belt.
- Traffic Safety Flyers: https://www.trafficsafetymarketing.gov/get-materials/child-car-safety/child-passenger-safety-week
- Parents Central, keeping kids safe in and around cars: http://www.safercar.gov/parents/CarSeats/Car-Seat-Safety.htm?view=full
- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) press release: http://www.nhtsa.gov/About+NHTSA/Press+Releases/ci.nhtsa-cps-2016-09192016.print