11 Ways to Keep Your Child Safe in a Car
Motor vehicle crashes claim the lives of more than 13 children per day. To best protect your child, choose a safety seat that fits your vehicle, fits your child, and that you will use correctly every time.
- Always read the vehicle owner's manual and the car seat instructions for correct installation information.
- Check your vehicle owner's manual and tags on the safety belts when you purchase a car seat. Make sure your child's weight and height are within the limits of the car seat. If you buy a convertible seat, check the fit both rear- and forward-facing.
- Do not buy a used seat unless you can verify
- it has not been in a crash;
- the age of the seat and that is has not expired;
- it has not been recalled.
- Infants and toddlers need to ride in the rear-facing car seats as long as possible. Keep children rear-facing until they reach the car seat's height or weight limits. Most convertible seats have limits that will allow a child to ride rear-facing for two years or more*. *AAP Policy Statement, August 2018
- When your child outgrows the rear-facing seat, he/she should ride in a forward-facing convertible or combination sear with a harness and tether as long as possible, up to the highest weight or height allowed in the car sear manufacturer's instructions.
- Use the top tether strap if your car seat and vehicle manufacturer's instructions allow it. When snug, the top tether will reduce the distance your child's head travels in a crash.
- A child who exceeds the limits of a forward-facing car seat with the harness is safer in a booster until the adult seat belts fit correctly, usually between 8-12 years old.
- Install the seat in back; all children should ride in the back seat until they are at least 13 years old. Never install a car seat in front of an air bag.
- Install your car seat snugly. To check, grasp the seat at the bottom near the belt or the LATCH attachment points. The seat should move less than an inch side-to-side or toward the front of the vehicle.
- Attend a car seat checkup to be sure the seat is installed correctly and your child is safely secured. To learn more about car seat checks near you, visit safekids.org.
- Your kids are watching what you do! Make sure you buckle up and stay off your cell phone while driving.
For help with your car seat, visit safekidscobbcounty.org for a free appointment or call (770) 514-2369.