It’s a daunting task that all new parents must face: properly using and securing safety seats for their children. While built to be a safe as possible, automobiles of all types can be dangerous, especially for your passengers – a fact that can be exacerbated if young ones are not properly restrained.
Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for children ages 1 to 12 years old, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Safe Kids are coming together to kick off Child Passenger Safety Week (Sept. 13-19) and Seat Check Saturday (Sept. 19) and remind parents and caregivers to make sure that they are properly using and installing child safety seats. You can find a certified car seat technician near you by filling out a simple form on the Safe Kids Worldwide website.
Safe Kids and NHTSA are encouraging everyone to take 15 minutes to conduct an at-home checkup using the following Safe Kids downloadable checklist:
Purchasing the right seat is one thing, but proper installation can be tricky. A 2012 survey by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows that parents are making five significant mistakes when using car seats and booster seats. It also found that one in five parents do not read any instructions when installing seats. They are:
The survey also revealed that 20 percent of all drivers of child passengers did not read any instructions on how to properly install their child restraints, yet 90 percent felt ‘confident’ or ‘very confident’ that their car seats and booster seats were installed correctly.For more information and tips on child passenger safety, visit www.nhtsa.gov/Safety/CPS and www.safekids.org.