Back-to-School Car Seat Safety For Your Child

Child in backseat of car in a car seat Now that school is back in session, our children can expect to spend more time in the car. During that time, it’s paramount that your child is properly and securely buckled into their car seat.

Car accidents are one of the leading causes of death among children. In 2015, 663 children under the age of 12 died in car crashes, while 132,000 were injured. However, by exercising proper precautions, caregivers can lower children’s chances of death or injury during a crash. Using a car seat properly reduces risk of death in a car crash by 71% in infants and 54% for children aged 1-4. Older children, from 4-8, reduce their chance of injury by 45% when they use a booster seat.

Keep reading for our tips on how to properly guard your little one against trouble on the road.

Car Seat Safety Guidelines For Children

Ages 2 and Below: These children should only be in the backseat in a car seat that faces the rear. In your car seat’s owner’s manual, you will find the upper height and weight limit. When your child grows to that size, they’re ready to move to the next step.

Ages 2-4: Now, it’s time for a new car seat that faces forward, though the seat should still stay in the back. Whenever your child hits the height and weight limit, they can progress to the next phase.

Age 5 and Up: After your child outgrows their front-facing car seat, they can sit in the backseat in a booster seat. Once the seatbelt fits properly, they are ready to forgo the booster. A proper fit means that the belt lays over the upper thighs, and not the stomach, and across the chest, not the neck. In other words, the belt should make contact with bone, not the soft fleshy parts of the body.

Safety Tips for All Ages

  • If the air bag deploys, it can be fatal to children. The backseat is the safest place for those under 12. And of course, they should be buckled.
  • The safest seat in the car is the center back seat.
  • Accidents can occur no matter how far you travel, and they can be tragic if your child isn’t safely positioned in the car. Even if you’re just heading around the corner, make sure your child is buckled safely.
  • Buckling up is important for everyone, not just kids, so wear your seatbelt! Plus, if you buckle up, that will set a good example for your children.

Click here for more information about car seat safety.

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