It’s Child Passenger Safety Week! This is a good time to take a moment to reflect on the safety of our children when they’re in cars.
It’s Child Passenger Safety Week! This is a good time to take a moment to reflect on the safety of our children when they’re in vehicles.
From bringing home a newborn baby to teaching your teen how to drive, child passenger safety can be stressful. New parents have to worry about the latest car seat recalls plus the overwhelming amount of information floating around the internet.
So, what are the best practices while driving with your precious cargo? We simplified it all for you, so you can focus on what matters.
Here are our top 4 key points for car seat passenger safety:
- Always keep your child in a rear-facing seat until he or she is 2 or more years old or reaches the maximum weight limit for their particular model on the car seat. Remember as your child grows you might have to switch from using a small rear-facing-only car seat to a bigger rear-facing convertible car seat.
- Be sure that the harness straps are at or below your child’s shoulders and that no slack exists between the chest clip and your child’s chest (you should not be able to pinch any excess webbing).
- Be sure that your child’s head does not flop forward when he or she sleeps. A good rule of thumb is that if you can fit one finger between their chin and chest, they’re okay.
- Remove bulky winter coats, and snowsuits from the child before harnessing them into a car seat. In the event of a crash, the padding inside a coat immediately flattens out from the force, leaving extra space under the harness, which can result in the child being thrown from the seat. For tips on keeping your child warm and safe while in a car seat click here.
If you have any questions about how your car seat should be installed, or you simply want to make sure your child is safe, you can find a virtual or in-person inspection from a certified technician in your area for free! Click here to find a technician near you.
As a child grows, the safety requirements change too. Many kids between 8-12 might still require a booster seat. It is important to pay attention to the size limits displayed on their booster seat. Many parents question when their child is big enough for an adult seat belt. A properly fitted adult seat belt has a few requirements:
- The shoulder belt must lie snugly across the shoulder and chest, not crossing the neck or face
- The lap belt must lie snugly across the upper thigh, not the stomach
- Never let a child (or adult) put the shoulder belt under an arm or behind the back because it could cause severe injuries in a crash.
Every state might vary in safety requirements. Be sure you are up to date with child passenger safety in New Jersey by clicking here.
Parents always remember to lead by example, don’t drive distracted, and always wear a seat belt. Safe travels from the Greater Mercer TMA team!