As the mom of 4 I know all to well about dealing with car seats. From finding the right one for each child to fighting them to keep in their car seats, I’ve been through it all. I’ve also been in 2 car accidents that left me with lifetime injuries which, is why I am so passionate about Car Passenger Safety. Did you know that every 33 seconds a child under 13 is involved in a car crash in the United States? That probably isn’t the first thing you think about when you are hauling your kids to school, the grocery store, or anywhere else around town. And really, you shouldn’t have to worry about whether or not your child is safely snuggled into the right car seat every time you get in the car. Instead, make sure your child is in the right seat from the get-go.
One of the goals of Child Passenger Safety Week is to encourage parents and caregivers to visit SaferCar.gov/TheRightSeat (or SaferCar.gov/Protegidos for Spanish-language information) to determine if their child is in the right seat for his or her age and size and to locate a car seat check station in their area. However – it doesn’t stop there. Parents and caregivers should be sure to register their child’s car seat with the manufacturer so as to be informed in the event of a recall.
What You Need to Know:
- Select a car seat based on your child’s age and size, choose a seat that fits in your vehicle, and use it every time.
- Rear Facing Car Seat
- Forward-Facing Car Seat
- Booster Seat
- Seat Belt
- Always refer to your specific car seat manufacturer’s instructions (check height and weight limits) and read the vehicle owner’s manual on how to install the car seat using the seat belt or lower anchors and a tether, if available.
- To maximize safety, keep your child in the car seat for as long as possible, as long as the child fits within the manufacturer’s height and weight requirements.
- Keep your child in the back seat at least through age 12.
- Be smart! To make sure you have the right seat for your child, visit NHTSA.gov/TheRightSeat, or find a Child Passenger Safety Week event in your area. During Child Passenger Safety Week, many communities will have Certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians on-hand to provide education on how to use car seats, booster seats, and seat belts for children. To find events near you, including free car seat checks, visit bit.ly/CPSTech. If you cannot make it to an event, resources like NHTSA.gov/TheRightSeat, have videos about how to install car seats and booster seats correctly and guides to picking the right seat by age and size.And – if you’re not too busy – the NHTSA is hosting a fun twitter chat on September 20th from 3-4pm EST using #TheRightSeat to learn more about child passenger safety and hear some great tips from other moms, dads, and grandparents on child passenger safety and traveling with kids!