[dropcap]A[/dropcap] properly installed car seat can help reduce injury and prevent death in the case of a crash.
But according to Mike Goss, General Manager, Toyota Social Innovation, three out of four car seats are incorrectly installed, a reason why Toyota is working with, Children’s Health, a leading pediatric health care system in North Texas, United States, to bring national road safety program known as Buckle Up for Life to families.
As part of the children safety campaign, Buckle Up for Life is offering motorists the following critical tips to keep all children safe on wheel.
- Check for fit and wrinkles in car seat straps. After you’ve buckled your child in, pinch the car seat strap near their shoulders. If you can pinch a wrinkle in the fabric, tighten the strap until it is snug. Then grab the car seat at the bottom where it is attached to the car and tug from side to side and front to back. If the seat moves more than an inch in either direction, tighten it.
- Use a new car seat. When it comes to car seats, safety experts agree that it’s best to use a new seat. This lets you know the seat’s full history. For example, if it has been through a crash, it may not protect your child from harm. Additionally, the plastic can degrade over time in the Texas heat. If you do have a used car seat, check its expiration date, which can usually be found on a sticker affixed to the seat.
- Make sure your child’s seat faces the correct way. Some parents and caregivers may wonder when it’s safe to turn the car seat around to face forward. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children remain in rear-facing car seats until age 2, or until they exceed the height and/or weight limit for the seat.
- Give them a boost: children under 8 years old and shorter than 4’9” need booster seats. Little ones can be eager to sit like big kids. However, seat belts often don’t fit young children properly and can ride up around their waists or necks, potentially causing injury during a crash. Children under 8 years old and shorter than 4’9” should sit in booster seats, which elevate them so that seat belts can fit properly.
- Call in the experts: there are many resources to help you get it right. Don’t hesitate to check out expert resources for additional tips and advice, such as the car seat installation videos found on BuckleUpForLife.org. The site also offers links to car seat inspection stations or child passenger safety technicians in your community.
“These tips may seem simple, but they could make the difference in saving a child’s life in the event of a crash – and our children deserve no less,” said Gloria Del Castillo, child passenger safety expert at Cincinnati Children’s and senior outreach specialist for Buckle Up for Life. “We’re delighted to partner with the terrific team at Children’s Health, who are leaders in safeguarding the Dallas community.”
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