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Injuries from car crashes are the leading cause of death among children in the United States. It’s a serious problem, and we’re responsible for our children’s safety. We’ll do everything we can to keep our kid(s) safe. Improvements are constantly being made to booster seats/car seats to make them safer and more convenient to use, but parents may still have trouble correctly installing them. In fact, 46% of booster or car seats are incorrectly installed or used, reducing or completely negating their efficiency.
Here are some great tips you may have never considered to help improve the efficiency of your child’s booster seat or car seat:
- Install it properly and in the right spot – It’s always crucial to ensure your child’s booster seat or car seat is tightly secure and installed properly, unable to move around at all when your car is in motion. The importance of a tight fit cannot be overstated, and positioning of the car seat is important too. When it comes to booster seats or car seats, the middle of the back seat is considered the safest spot for installation because it is furthest away from doors and windows
- Loose clothing can take away from the efficacy of a booster seat or car seat – make sure that your child’s clothes are snug enough to fit tightly and securely in the seat without restricting their breathing – when winter comes, make sure they’re in a snug jacket with a blanket over them to keep them warm
- Baby proof your car for safety – Never keep sharp heavy, or large objects in your car. They can shuffle around while you’re driving and endanger your child.
- Baby proof your car for the weather – When it’s hot out, the interior of a car can absorb a lot of heat quickly. Cover up any spots in your car (metal spots, leather handles, etc.) that heat up quickly (leather seats can get hot enough to burn an adult – a child’s soft skin has to be kept away from hot spots in your car). Tint your windows (*within legal restrictions) your car to keep it a little cooler, consider investing in a sun shield and always park in the shade so your car isn’t severely hot when you come back to it.
- Take age and limitations into account – Children under the age of 13 should always be in the back seat. And remember to take your child’s limitations into account as well. If your child is disabled, they still may not be ready for the front seat.
- Read the manual – Every booster or car seat is different. The car seat industry is always innovating for ways to make their products safer, and with innovation comes change in design/installation. Fully read your booster/car seat’s manual in full and make sure it is properly installed to the T. Never drive around with your child in a car seat if you have even the slightest doubt that the seat isn’t installed 100% correctly according to the manual.
- Stay informed, register your car seat – We sometimes hear about huge recalls on the news. But with our busy daily lives, we may sometimes miss these recalls. Make notification simple by registering your child’s car seat with its manufacturer so you know if your child’s car seat has been recalled. All you should need is the information sticker. Or if the car seat came with one, fill out its registration card.
- Confused about how to install your car seat? Learn how to install your car seat for free. Safe Kids hosts events in which they inspect booster seats and car seats for proper installation. Look for the next even near you and attend. Make sure you take this opportunity to learn how to install the car seat – you’ll likely need to remember how to install/uninstall it from time to time.
Following these tips can help you make your child safer while in the car with you. Nothing is scarier than the thought of your child being in harm’s way. We hope these tips and resources help to alleviate that fear. Remember, winter’s on it’s way, and with that means less safe driving conditions on Long Island. So, keep your kids warm and secure, and safe driving!