The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently held Child Passenger Safety Week. During this event, certified technicians were available across the country to offer free advice to parents and to perform child car seat inspections. NHTSA’s event is important because car accidents are a leading cause of death for children under 13. According to NHTSA, child fatalities and injuries can be prevented by properly using seat belts and seats.
Parents sometimes install seats incorrectly or buy the wrong type of seats for their children. This is not their fault. Shopping for the right car seat and knowing how to perform an installation can be confusing for many parents. The following five tips may help aid you through the process of researching, selecting and installing a safety or booster seat.
- Use the right type of car seat: There are different types of car seats for newborns, toddlers and older children. The weight and height of your child also matters. NHTSA has a tool on its website that allows you to select a car seat based on your child’s height, weight and date of birth. You should also refer to the seat’s instruction manual for this information.
- Buy a seat with high safety ratings: NHTSA uses a rating system for child car seats. The ratings analyze several factors, such as how easy it is to install the seat or understand the instructions.
- Get a free inspection: Your local fire department or police station may offer a free inspection after you have completed the installation. A certified technician at one of these locations may catch mistakes you made during the installation process.
- Register the seat: You should always register the seat with the manufacturer. This will allow the manufacturer to contact you if the seat is recalled. You can also sign up on NHTSA’s website to receive email alerts for recalls. Defective or recalled car seats should not be used under any circumstances.
- Be wary of used seats: Buying a used car seat may come with multiple risks. Never use a seat that has been involved in a crash. Used seats may also be missing instruction manuals or even parts.
For future updates on driving safety tips, please continue following our blog. At Riddle & Brantley, LLP, Safety Counts.