Motor-vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for children under the age of 13. In 2017, there were 675 child fatalities due to car crashes. Sadly, some of these fatalities may have been prevented with proper installation of child passenger seats (NSC 2019).
Consider the following tips when installing and using child passenger seats:
- The safest place for children under the age of 12 to ride is in the back seat of a vehicle (SKW 2019).
- Lead by example!Children are more likely to wear their seatbelts if they see their parents doing the same (NSC 2019).
- Check the expiration date of your child seat and replace as needed (NSC 2019). The tag on the back of the seat should include the expiration date and installation instructions.
- Never install a rear-facing child-passenger seat in the front seat of your vehicle due to the potential safety risk associated with activated air bags (NSC 2019).
- Read and understand the manufacturers’ instructions and recommendations found on the child seat (NSC 2019).
- Children’s toys can become projectiles if a motor vehicle collision occurs.Provide toys that are soft and plush in nature (SKW 2019).
- Secure other loose items in your vehicle (e.g., window scrapers, jacks, emergency kit, etc.) (SKW 2019).
- Never leave your child alone in a vehicle under any circumstances (SKW 2019).
Information regarding child passenger seats is available on the Safe Kids Worldwide® Web page (https://www.safekids.org/events) regarding community events, child car seat registration, and other topic areas (SKW 2019). Child seat recall information can be located on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Web page (https://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/recalls/childseat.cfm).
National Safety Council (NSC). 2019. Child Passenger Safety. Available from: https://www.nsc.org/road-safety/safety-topics/child-passenger-safety
Safe Kids Worldwide® (SKW). 2019. Car Seat Tips, How to Ride Safely. Available from: https://www.safekids.org/tip/car-seat-tips