Monday, September 17, 2012

Child Passenger Safety Tips

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) suggests the following:

Do List:

• Do make sure to restrain your child appropriately for his or her age and size (see below for more).

• Do follow directions that come with the car seat. Also pay close attention to your vehicle owner's manual for any further directions.

• Watch for local law enforcement events that help you check for proper installation and use.

Don't List:

• Don't allow any child under the age of 13 years to sit in the front seat.

• Don't allow a child under age 13 to sit in front of an active airbag, especially rear-facing infants.

Birth - 12 Months

• All infants under age 1 should ride rear-facing.

• Infant-only seats typically must be used in the rear-facing position. Most convertible seats and 3-in-1 seats can be used rear-facing and usually have higher weight and height limits.

1 - 3 Years

• Children ages 1-3 years should ride rear-facing as long as possible, within the weight and height limits of the seat.

• Once your child outgrows his or her rear-facing seat, a forward-facing car seat with a harness should be used.

4-7 Years

• Children ages 4-7 years should remain in a forward-facing car seat with a harness until he or she reaches the weight and height limits of the seat.

• Once your child outgrows his or her forward-facing seat with a harness, a belt-positioning booster seat should be used in conjunction with the vehicle's lap and shoulder seat belt.

8-12 Years

• Your child should continue using a belt-positioning booster seat until the vehicle's lap and shoulder seat belt fits properly

• The shoulder strap should fit snugly over the shoulder and across the chest. Make sure it's never across the neck, face, or arm.

• The lap belt should fit low and tight on your child's hips, not over his or her stomach.

For more information regarding your state laws you should check with your State Highway Patrol and/or Department of Revenue. These officials can answer all of your questions regarding regulations.

The most important first step is researching the different models of child safety seats. Make sure the one you choose is not on the recall list and watch for those recalls regularly. An exchange will be in order should a safety seat be recalled.

We all want our children to be comfortable but we can accomplish that at the same time as transporting them as safely as we possibly can.

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