According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association, motor vehicle crashes are the number one cause of death in children ages 1-12 years old. This fatality rate could be reduced by half if the correct child safety seat were always used.
In honor of National Child Passenger Safety week, here are some popular myths regarding child car seat safety information debunked.
Myth #1: My child is buckled into the seat; we’re safe.
Your child’s safety depends on more than just being in a car seat; it also depends on how the seat is installed, and how your child fits in the seat. Reading the instructions that accompany the new car seat is a good start, but an even better option is to have a Certified Child Passenger Safety (CPS) technician inspect the seat and installation. To find a CPS technician near you, log-on to www.safecar.gov.
Depending on your child’s height and weight, he or she may need to ride in a booster seat well into their 12th year. Check the manufacturer’s height and weight requirements and don’t move your child out of a car seat too quickly.
Myth #2: My child is too old for a car seat.
Myth #3: I’ll just use the same car seat for my youngest child that I used for my oldest.
A fact that many people aren’t aware of is that child car seats can actually expire. Things like exposure to sunlight, temperature changes, and years of normal wear and tear can affect the quality of your child’s car seat. So be sure to check the expiration date, often printed in the manual or on the seat itself, before reusing a car seat.
Myth #4: I found a car seat at a yard sale that appears to be brand new.
Even if a car seat looks brand new, it can still be unsafe. Like cars, child car seats can be recalled for a variety of reasons, including unsafe restraints and insufficient padding. Once a car seat has been recalled, stores pull the seats from their shelves. But if you purchase a seat
from somewhere else, you risk not knowing its history. To see if a seat has been recalled, search by the seat’s model or serial number on www.safecar.gov.
You’d do anything to protect your little one, so make sure they are as safe in the car as possible. Log-on to www.safecar.gov for more information about car seats, proper installation, and child passenger safety. Make every car ride a safe one.