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How Child Safety Seats Can Protect Your Children

Posted On August 10, 2016 In Local Car Accidents

Child safety seats can protect your childrenDid you know that car accidents are the number one cause of death among children in the U.S.? According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), car accidents cost 638 children their lives in 2013. This depressing statistic is a reminder that it is extremely important to ensure your children are safe while driving. Parents can reduce the chances of death or serious injury by using child safety seats.

CDC statistics show that child safety seat use reduces the risk of death for children under one years old by 71 percent. For children aged 1 to 4, the risk of death is decreased by 54 percent. Booster seats are also useful for preventing injuries. CDC statistics show booster seats reduce the risk of catastrophic injuries by 45 percent among children ages 4 to 8 years old.

Although child safety seats are effective at reducing injuries and deaths, there are ways to use these seats incorrectly. According to the CDC, 59 percent of car seats and 20 percent of booster seats are used incorrectly, reducing their effectiveness in the event of an accident.

These Child Safety Seat Tips May Help Protect Your Children

The following tips from Safe Kids Worldwide and the CDC can help make child safety seats more effective.

  • Always ensure that the seat you are using is appropriate for your child’s age, weight and height. Check the label on the child safety seat to verify this information.
  • Ensure the child safety seat is not past its expiration date. This information can also be found on the label.
  • Never buy used child safety seats. Even if you know the person you are buying from, it can be difficult or impossible to know the seat’s crash history.
  • Make sure your child is facing the right direction. Keep children two years old and under in rear-facing car seats. When your child is old enough, move them to a forward-facing car seat.
  • Perform the inch test. After installing the car seat, see if you can move it side-to-side or back to back more than one inch. If you can, the seat has not been installed properly.
  • Make sure the harnesses are tight and coming from the correct slots. You should not be able to pinch any excess webbing past shoulder level.
  • If there is one safety tip to pay attention to on today’s blog, it is making sure your child’s safety seat is properly installed. The majority of safety seats are not properly installed and could malfunction during accidents. Police and fire departments will sometimes perform safety checks on seats at no cost. In addition, the Texas Department of Transportation offers similar services at its offices.

Remember to Check for Child Safety Seat Recalls

We encourage parents to revisit a past blog post on how to check for child safety seat recalls. In some cases, child safety seats have serious defects. For future updates on child safety seat tips and recalls, continue following our blog.

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