Is Your Child in the Right Seat? – Child Passenger Safety Week
A car seat is no doubt one of the most important purchases will ever make for your child! But it isn’t just that first purchase that matters the most. As your child gets older and while they are growing, you will need to change not only the direction that the car seat faces and how they sit in it – at some point you will have to upgrade to an entirely different seat.
Don’t guess when it comes to which seat your child should be in right now. So what do you choose? Infant, convertible, or booster seat? Finding the right car seat and installing it correctly is no easy task. Then there’s the question of when to transition your child to another type of car seat. Following these steps will help you find the right car seat based on car seat type, age and size recommendations, and will show you how to install your car seat the correct way.
Can you imagine? Thinking that your child is in the right car seat, only to find out that they aren’t!
While you can customize the look and feel of a car seat, there are three basic types of car seats to choose from:
- Rear-Facing Car Seat: It has a harness and, in a crash, cradles and moves with your child to reduce the stress to the child’s fragile neck and spinal cord. To maximize safety, keep your child in a car seat rear facing for as long as possible.
- Forward-Facing Car Seat: Has a harness and tether that limits your child’s forward movement during a crash. To maximize safety, keep your child in a car seat for as long as the child fits within the manufacturer’s height and weight requirements.
- Booster Seat:Positions the seat belt so that it fits properly over the stronger parts of a child’s body. Keep your child in a booster seat until he or she is big enough to fit in a seat belt properly.
Is Your Seat Installed Properly?
- Installation Resources:If a car seat is not installed correctly, your child’s safety could be in danger. Every car seat has different installation instructions. You can find resources and tips here to help you get “the right fit” on your car seats: http://www.safercar.gov/parents/RightFit.htm
- Free Car Seat Checks:During Child Passenger Safety Week, there will be more than 600 events in 45 states across the country, where certified child passenger safety technicians will inspect car seats and show parents and caregivers how to correctly install and use them. In most cases, this service is free of charge. Locate a car seat check event here:http://www.safercar.gov/cpsApp/cps/index.htm
Car crashes are a leading cause of death for children 1 to 13 years old. Many times deaths and injuries can be prevented by proper use of car seats, booster seats, and seat belts. By working with the Ad Council and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) we hope to get out a message that will educate parents and caregivers about the importance of selecting the right seat for their child’s age and size, and to remind them that car seats, booster seats and seat belts offer the best protection for children in crashes and help save lives.
Get this message out to your friends and family!
- Twitter – Many parents do not realize their child is in the wrong car seat. Visit Safercar.gov/TheRightSeat and make sure your child is riding safely. #therightseat.
- Facebook – Storks know how to keep kids safe. Do you? Visit safercar.gov/therightseat to know for sure that your child is in the right seat for their age and size. #STORKS #TheRightSeat