HKQ Kids

Car Seat Safety Checks Help Keep Your Kids Safe

Holidays and family road trips! Whether it’s a short trip for holiday shopping, or a longer drive to Grandma’s house, make sure your little ones are buckled in securely and safely when you venture out on the road.

One of the most dangerous things our children do as part of daily life is to ride in a car. Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for children age 4 and older. Using the right car seat or booster seat can help to substantially reduce the risk by as much as 70%.

Recently, the American Academy of Pediatrics updated car and booster seat recommendations. They state that children should remain in rear-facing safety seats for as long as possible; forward-facing car safety seats for most children through at least 4 years of age; belt-positioning booster seats through at least 8 years of age; and lap and shoulder seat belts for all who have outgrown booster seats. The AAP also recommends that all children under age 13 should always ride in the rear seats of vehicles.

The most significant revision is the use of a rear-facing car safety seat for as long as possible. It is important to note, most rear-facing seats can accommodate children up to 35-40 lbs. Be sure to check your car seat manual for weight restrictions and guidelines. However, do not carry the car seat inside and use it as a sleeping unit. It will not sit in the correct position if it is removed from its base, and could potentially restrict your infant’s breathing, resulting in potential suffocation.

Rear-facing car seats cradle and move with your child to reduce the stress to your child’s fragile neck and spinal cord. Convertible seats can change from a rear-facing seat to a forward-facing seat with a harness and tether.  An all-in-one seat can change from a rear to forward facing seat, and then to a booster seat as your child grows.

For advice on choosing the correct car seat for your child’s needs, speak to your pediatrician. For additional safety information, go to HKQKids.org and find us on Facebook.