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Child Car Seat Safety – Procedures and Tips to safe guard your child.

The age and weight of your child determine the type of safety seat that you should use to protect them. There are 3 styles of car seats.

Convertible safety seats: Infants and toddlers can safely use these seats. Infants should be rear-facing. Toddlers should face forward. The recommended age range for convertible safety seats is 1-4 years old. The appropriate direction is determined by a child’s weight. In order to use this seat facing forward, a child should weigh 30 to 40 pounds. The seat itself should only be used when a child has reached a weight of 20-22 pounds and have a head that reaches above the infant-only seat.

Booster seats: These seats are the last stop before transitioning to seat belts. They should be used by children ages 4-8 who are over 40 pounds and are shorter than 4 feet 9 inches tall.

Rear-facing infant only: After birth and up to a weight of 20 pounds/1 year old, a baby should use this type of seat when they are transported in a motor vehicle. There are no exceptions.

OTHER SAFETY ISSUES

Proper placement of a car seat: Safety seats belong in the back seat of your car. While all children don’t need a safety seat, any child who is 12 years old or under should always ride in the back seat. The air bags in the front seat can cause serious injury to a child 12 or younger. In some cases, front seat air bags have killed children 12 or younger.

In some vehicles, a back seat doesn’t exist. In these instances, turn off the air bag if there is a child passenger who must use a front seat. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will, upon being asked, give you authority to acquire an on/off switch for your passenger seat airbag.

Harness straps: Make sure harness straps are secure and aren’t contorted. The harness clip top should be at armpit level.

Safety seat installation: Consult your manual for instructions on how to safely install your child’s safety seat. Follow the directions carefully. Don’t make exceptions, even when they seem harmless to you.

If you have trouble installing the seat, almost any local police or fire department will be able to help you get your work inspected so that you can be sure you’ve installed it properly.

Used seats: Never buy a used child safety seat. It might be damaged in some way or it might have been issued for a recall. You can never be sure when buying a used seat, so to be on the safe side, always purchase a new child safety seat.

Most importantly, once you have your child in your car, always drive in the safest manner possible.

 

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