Do you know that car accidents are among the leading cause of preventable death for children aged between 1 and 13? Safety is a matter of life and death, thus you ought to keep your kid safe by purchasing and installing the correct car and booster seat.
Finding the right car seat for your child is arguably confusing. To ease your search, buckle up – metaphorically, and take a few minutes to check out our ten important car safety tips to observe in your car.
- Keep car seats straps snug
It is notable that most kids ride around with loose straps. You should ascertain that the straps are properly secured despite the possible protest from your kid. Besides, remove any bulky clothes such as winter coats that often result in loosened straps, which in turn reduce effectiveness.
2. Rear-facing seat as long as possible
Rear-facing seats are far much safer than forward facing seats. It is safe and comfortable for any child to sit frog-legged or cross-legged at this position. According to statistics, forward-facing kids are prone to more leg injuries than rear-facing kids are. If your child has outgrown the infant car seat, consider a convertible car seat.
3. Don’t start using booster seat soon – and don’t stop using it soon
Children above four years old, weigh at least 40 pounds and are mature enough to sit in the booster seat can safely use the seat. Based on these, kids generally reach 6 years old before maturing enough to use a booster seat. The goal of booster seats is to keep the seat belt properly positioned on the child’s body. Therefore, you should keep your kiddo in the booster until the seat belt fits exactly the same without the booster.
4. Ensure everyone in the car is buckled up
Besides keeping all your adult passengers alive, ensure that everyone in the vehicle wears a seat belt. This prevents the persons from becoming human torpedoes in case an accident occurs. From recent studies, an adult riding in the back without a buckle increases the chances of killing other people in the vehicle, as they become a human missile.
5. Ensure technicians do child’s car seat installation
It is reported that the risk of your child getting severely injured or dying in an accident is reduced by 71% when the seat is properly fitted and secured. Therefore, you should purchase the seat from a convenient store and ensure that a properly trained staff fits the seat.
6. The center seat is generally the safest spot for kids
Children positioned at the center won’t take a direct hit in case an accident occurs. There is also less to hit their head if they are in a forward facing car seat.
7. Avoid texting or using the phone while driving
Reducing the fatalities in an accident can only be done if distracted driving is eliminated. Therefore, you should not only take measures to ensure that your kid is safe in the car, but also everyone else is safe on the road.
8. Pay attention to car seat expiry
Besides choosing the right booster seat for your kid based on weight, age and height, ensure that you also pay attention to expiration dates. Many people are often unaware of this, but car seats come with expiration dates printed on the label.
9. Harness height and tension
You should ensure that the harness seat height and tension are correct. If the seat is rear facing, the harness should be in level or slightly below the child’s shoulder. Similarly, for a forward facing seat, its harness should be in level or slightly above the child’s shoulder. Harness tension should be 2 fingers between the harness and the child.
10. Replace your seats
If you experienced an accident before, there are high chances that your seat needs replacement. Most manufacturers advise that seats require replacement regardless of the severity of the impact.
Keep your kids safe in your car by observing the above-mentioned simple tips. Most important is to ensure that you get the right booster seat, car seat and make use of the seatbelt. Similarly, ensure that your seats haven’t expired and always buckle up.