Safety Mistakes Parents Make
Car Seat Safety
National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) literature states that although many parents think they are installing and using car seats and safety belts to protect their children, check-ups continually show that four out of five parents unintentionally make mistakes that could result in their child being injured or killed in a crash.
Highway deaths are the number one killer of children in America, and common mistakes include buying the wrong car seat for your vehicle, not correctly installing the car seat, failing to use a booster seat, not having the seat or harness strap tight enough, and failing to use a locking or harness retainer clip.
Car seats must be in the rear seat, never the front seat, and must be rear-facing for infants less than a year old and who weigh less than 20 pounds. The NTSB recommends that children be placed in child safety seats until the age of four, and then in booster seats from ages four to eight. Never buy a used car safety seat unless you are sure it has never been in a crash and it has all the correct parts—including the instructions. Car seats older than six years should be discarded.
Because there are hundreds of child safety seats and seat belt configurations, there are also many ways to install car seats—and making sure you are doing it properly is of the utmost importance. For help in correctly installing a car seat, contact the NTSB at www.seatcheck.org where you can locate your nearest check site.
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