Car seat / seatbelt safety
The American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommend the following guidelines to help keep your family safe in your vehicle. These guidelines will help prevent injury to you and your children in case of a car collision. Every state requires that infants and children ride buckled up. However, state laws do vary, and they do not always require the safest way to transport a child. More children are killed as passengers in car accidents than from any other type of injury.
- EVERYONE in the car must "buckle up" with age-appropriate restraint devices.
- The back seat is always the safest place for a child 13 years and under.
- Infants should be restrained in a rear-facing car seat until they are at least two years of age. If necessary, pad the sides of the seat with rolled-up receiving blankets to prevent your infant from slouching. When your infant is small, you may use an infant seat, but when your infant outgrows the weight or length limit (usually 20-22 pounds or 29-32 inches) you must use a rear facing convertible seat instead. Never mount a rear-facing infant seat in front of a passenger-side air bag. If the air bag deploys, serious injury and death may occur. Refer to your owner's manual for recommendations regarding mounting car seats next to side air bags.
- A convertible car seat may be used after your child outgrows the infant seat. The convertible seat should be rear facing until the child is 2 years old, after which it may face forward. Each convertible car seat is different and so you need to check the height and weight restrictions of each individual seat.
- Belt positioning booster seats should be used after your child outgrows the convertible car seat. These seats are designed to be used between 40 and 80 pounds. Most children will not properly fit into a regular seat belt until they are 4 foot 9 inches. Before you allow your child to sit in a regular seat belt, check to see that the shoulder belt fits over the clavicle (collar bone), the lap belt fits snugly over the hips, and the knees are forward of the seat cushion. Never tuck the shoulder belt under the child's arm or behind the child's back!
For thorough information about car seat, you can access the following website: www.healthychildren.org/English/safety-prevention/on-the-go/Pages/Car-Safety-Seats-Information-for-Families.aspx.
You may also speak with a certified Child Passenger Safety (CPS) technician at 888-327-4236, 8 am-10 pm ET, Monday-Friday.
For information regarding a car safety seat recall, contact the manufacturer, the Auto Safety Hot Line at 888-327-4236 or 800-424-9393, or access www.nhtsa.gov.
Additional information may be found at the following web sites:www.boostamerica.org
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