Car Seat Safety
As we get closer to the start of another school year, we feel it is important to refresh our audience of the importance of car seat safety. In this article, we will go over 10 simple ways to ensure your little passengers make it to and from school safely.
Regardless of your age, driving experience, location, or passengers, drivers should drive as safely as possible. When there is a “Baby on Board,” your responsibility as a driver immensely increases. This means not only driving safe, but ensuring your mini-passenger is riding safely. Taking the proper precautions to restraining your child in their seat could mean life or death in the case of an accident.
Before we go into the ways to use your car seat to protect your child, we must review why you should not continue using your child’s car seat:
- Age – Most car seats are rated for 5-9 years of use depending on the brand and type of car seat. Over time, the regulations regarding car seats have changed to increase the safety of car seats. If your car seat is older than 5 years, we recommend researching the brand and type of seat to ensure its safety.
- If you cannot view the manufacture date and model number – Car seats are regularly recalled for safety reasons. If you are unable to search if your seat has been recalled due to a safety issue, we recommend discarding the car seat and purchasing a new one. Your child’s life is not worth risking.
- Previous auto accidents – If your car seat was installed during another accident, it needs to be discarded. Regardless of the detection of damage to the seat, it should not be used after an accident. There is a high chance the seat restraints were weakened during an accident. If you are using a used car seat, make sure you are aware of the history of the seat. You may not find out the restraints were weakened until they are put to the test and we do not want your child to be at risk.
If your car seat has passed the test of durability, here are several tips that will give you peace of mind on the road:
- Install rear facing in the back seat for maximum protection. Never put your child in the front seat of a vehicle – especially if that seat has an airbag.
- Car seat restraint straps should be flat, not twisted, and below shoulder height while the child is rear facing. If your seat must be installed facing the front of the vehicle, make sure the straps are shoulder level or higher. The harness straps should be snug and the clip should be at armpit level. These straps can be adjusted as your baby grows, but slack should not be created. Prevent slouching by rolling up diapers or receiving blankets to pad the seat. In an accident this can allow an infant to be ejected.
- To check if your child’s car seat has been recalled, call the Auto Safety Hotline at 1-888-DASH-2-DOT
For more information about car seat safety, visit Safer Car. To ensure your Auto Policy meets the requirements for you and your family, please call or text our office at 386-673-5550. We would be happy to give you a complimentary review of your policies.