Child Passenger Safety Week 2020: The Right Seat

NHTSA_Car Seat Safety_The Cooper Firm

Child Passenger Safety Week 2020: The Right Seat

Child Passenger Safety Week is September  20-26, 2020 and each year NHTSA works to raise awareness on how to identify the right seat for your child at every age. From infancy to pre-teen, there are guidelines that ensure the safest ride possible.

Based on a 2017 report, every week 3 children under the age of 12 were killed in traffic related crashes. A properly installed and fitted car seat can reduce the risk of fatal injury by more than 70%. Between rear-facing, front-facing and booster seats, and a seat belt, your child should be buckled and secure through the age of 12. The four types of car seats, as outlined by NHTSA, include these basic guidelines:

  • Rear-Facing is the safest position for a child under 2 years old. As your child nears the age of 2, follow the manufacturer height and weight guidelines before turning the car seat forward. Keep in mind there can also state specific laws about rear facing that you should follow.
  • An improperly installed car seat can be useless in a crash. In fact, NHTSA reported that nearly half of families install car seats incorrectly. Follow the instructions carefully or contact your local police department or fire station for assistance.
  • Booster seats are designed to properly position your growing child so the seat belt fits properly across the lap and chest. Keeping your child in a booster until the age of 12 is another way to ensure their safety.
  • Riding in the back seat is the safest place for a child under 12. Though it may be tempting to move them to the front, until they have grown out of the booster seat based on height suggestions, the safety devices in the front seat can do more harm than good.
  • Before accepting a used car seat or handing it down to the next child, always check the expiration date. Safety regulations change and you could find that an older car seat that appears to be working properly is no longer safe.

Check out the video NHTSA created for car seat selection and make sure to visit their page for more detailed information on car seat types and safety tips.

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