Infant, convertible, or booster seat? Front facing or rear facing? Is this thing buckled the right way? Why is there a latch in the back and where does it go? What if I don’t use it? Is my child really safe? Now that my two youngest are 5 and 9, I know the laws have changed but I wasn’t really sure what the best options for them were until I took a look at Safecar.gov.
If you have ever had kids, you know these questions have sprinted through your mind at one point or another. Maybe it was the time you were leaving the hospital with your brand new baby, or the time you were putting your toddler in the car to run errands. There are so many different kinds of car seats on the market, and even when you think you have picked out the right one, you find each one has different features. How do you know which to use, what you need, and how to use it? Safecar.gov has exactly what you need to make sure you have the right seat with the perfect fit.
September 13th-19th, 2015 is Child Passenger Safety Week and September 19th 2015 is National Seat Check Saturday. One of the goals of Child Passenger Safety Week is to encourage parents and caregivers to visit SaferCar.gov/TheRightSeat to determine if their child is in the right seat for his or her age and size and to locate a car seat inspection event in their area. Additionally, parents and caregivers will be urged to register their child’s car seat with the manufacturer so as to be informed in the event of a recall.
Instead of worrying and questioning if you have the right seat, take advantage of Child Passenger Safety Week and the great resources that Safecar.gov is offering free for parents!
Installation Resources: If a car seat is not installed correctly, your child’s safety could be compromised. Every car seat has different installation instructions. You can find resources and tips here to help you get “the right fit” on your car seats: http://www.safercar.gov/parents/RightFit.htm
Free Car Seat Inspections: During Child Passenger Safety Week, there will be events across the country where Certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians will inspect car seats and show parents and caregivers how to correctly install and use them. In most cases, this service is free of charge. Locate a car seat check event here: http://www.safercar.gov/cpsApp/cps/index.htm?
Here is just one example of how to install your car seat. Visit the How to Install Your Car Seat page to find the type of seat that you have and the correct way to install it.
Car Seat Safety Tips:
- Find a car seat that fits your child. As children grow, how they sit in your car will change. Make sure the car seat you purchase is designed to fit your child’s current size and age and allows some room growth.
- Not all car seats fit in all vehicles so test the car seat you plan to buy to make sure it fits well in your vehicle.
- Before putting your child in a car seat, read the manufacturer’s instructions so you know how your car seat works and how to install it.
- All-in-One car seats offer you the advantage of using the same seat for the following positions: rear-facing, forward-facing with harness, then booster. These seats typically have higher height and weight limits for the rear-facing position, allowing you to keep your child rear-facing for a longer period of time, which physicians and safety experts strongly recommend.
NHTSA provides parents and caregivers car seat ease-of-use ratings that allow you to evaluate how easy certain car seat features are before you buy a seat.
Remember, the best car seat is the one that fits your child properly, is easy to use, fits in your vehicle correctly, and which you’ll use every time! I hope that you will take the opportunity to share this with friends, family and co-workers who may have little ones in car seats as well. This is an important issue that definitely should be shared with other parents.