Child Passenger Safety Check Up
Car seats and boosters provide protection for infants and children in a crash, yet car crashes are one of the leading causes of death for children ages 1 to 13 years old. Knowing this, it is crucial that parents and caregivers choose the proper car seat for their child. In addition to choosing the proper seat, using the seat in the way it was intended is just as important.
During September we will be celebrating National Child Passenger Safety Week, September 23-29, 2018. To help celebrate National Child Passenger Safety Week, there will be over 70 car seat check events across the state of Illinois to assist parents and caregivers with proper installation and safety awareness. To find a car seat technician in your area or to view a list of car seat check events visit www.safekids.org. This website also offers a broad range of tips and helpful resources such as when not to use a car seat after a vehicle crash, car seat recommendations for children, and different safety checklists. If you have questions regarding laws pertaining to safety seats please refer to the Safe Kids website or visit your local police department and speak with a certified technician.
Important Tips to Remember
- Always read the car seat instruction manual and the portion of your vehicle’s owner manual on car seat installation.
- Forward facing seats – Connect the tether strap to the tether anchor and tighten. This limits forward head movement in a crash.
- Rear facing seats – Ensure the seat is installed at the proper recline angle. Most car seats have built-in angle indicators to assist.
Common Mistakes to Avoid
- Using lower anchors beyond the manufacturer’s weight restriction. Many parents and caregivers install using the lower anchors and then never adjust the seat when the child grows. Once the child’s weight exceeds the manufacturer limit, the seat must be installed using the seat belt.
- Failing to install the car seat using all the proper attachments. Most commonly, parents and caregivers forget to utilize the tether strap located on the upper backside of a forward facing seat either because they are unaware of its purpose or cannot locate its tether anchor inside their vehicle.
- Using a seat improperly with regard to your child’s weight. Many parents and caregivers fail to follow guidelines on weight restrictions either because they are unaware of the limits or believe their child is safe enough with the installation they have completed themselves.
As your child grows, so does his or her car seat needs. Be sure to give your child’s car seat a periodic check up to make sure it is the appropriate seat and it is being use correctly. The Huntley Police Department offers free car seat inspections by certified safety seat technicians should you have any concerns or questions.
Huntley Safety 1st is the monthly education series written by the staff of the Huntley Police Department. On the first of each month, we provide citizens with information on a different public safety related issue.