With the school year revving up, our children are going to start spending more time in the car. Unfortunately, car accidents are a top cause of death among children.
In 2015, 663 children younger than 12 died in motor vehicle crashes, while 132,000 were injured. The good news is that, as a caregiver, you have the power to significantly reduce the chance of this happening to your child. Car seats can cut down the risk of death in car crashes by 71% for infants and 54% for children aged 1-4. For children aged 4-8, booster seats reduce risk of injury by 45%
The seats in your car are designed to protect adults in the instance of a crash. In order to make the seat safe for a smaller body, it’s important to employ proper techniques so your little one is protected on the road.
Car Seat Safety Rules for Children
2 and Under: At this age, children should be in a rear-facing car seat in the backseat only. Check the owner’s manual of your car seat for the height and weight limit. When your child reaches the upper limit, they’re ready to move into the next phase.
Ages 2-5: This is the time when most children outgrow their first seat and are ready to graduate to one that is forward-facing. This car seat should still be in the back seat. Once they reach the height and weight limit, it’s time for the next step.
Age 5 Until Seatbelt Fits Properly: These children should sit in the back seat with a booster seat. You will know the seatbelt fits properly when the lap belt lays over your child’s upper thighs, not their stomach, and the shoulder strap lays across their chest, not their neck.
Other Auto Safety Tips
- Air bags can kill young children; all children under age 12 should be buckled in the back seat.
- Make sure to set a good example for your kids by always buckling your seatbelt.
- No matter how short your trip is, make sure your child is safe. Accidents can be devastating when children are not properly secured.
- The safest seat in the car is the back center seat, so make sure your child sits here whenever possible.
We hope you have a safe and fun school year! For more information about car seat safety, click here.