We hate to hear that a quick trip to the store results in an injury to a child, but it can happen when another vehicle hits your car. Were you smart, and are you smart everyday, when travelling with small children? What about the time you think you are gong to make a quick trip and you forget to install the car seat in your car? A loose child in a car is like a pinball on a machine—one bump leads to two and more as they are ricocheted inside the vehicle when there is sudden and forceful impact.
We’ve heard that close to 300,000 children are injured each year because of improper use of seatbelts and car seats, and many of them die from improper car seat installation. With statistics such as those, why would anyone not install a car seat for the projection of their children? The government has issued safety regulations that all car seats must meet. And, with many hospitals and other agencies offering free fittings, there is really no excuse for not having one. How do you determine that right age, the best fit, and the right model of a car seat for protecting your child?
- If affordability is a concern, there are many versions out there that fall within the affordable range, and many agencies will even provide free car seats for families who cannot immediately afford one.
- If your child is age newborn to 20 pounds, an infant seat will work for that weight.
- Some convertible seats are also effective, and can be used until your child becomes too big to fit appropriate.
- If your child is under 80 pounds, regular seatbelts should not be used. Keep them in car seats until they exceed that weight limit.
- If you do use a seat belt, position the lap belt on the thigh, not the stomach. Putting it across the stomach could cause damage to internal organs in the event of a crash.
No matter where you drive, or what proximity your destination from your starting point, no trip is worth it if an accident happens that injures or kills your child. Take the extra time to know how to properly install and use a car seat—and use it without fail no matter what. Doing so will mean a safe trip for all, for many years to come.