Child Safety Seats
If you have children, it’s crucial that they are secured in the appropriate child safety seats. Keep in mind that it’s typically safer to transport children in the back of a car than in the front. It’s also critical to use car seats that are a good fit for each child’s age and weight.
Why Safety Seats are Important
When used properly, child safety seats can prevent injuries. However, improper use is very common. Small mistakes can lead to serious injuries in the event of a car accident.
Tips on How to Use a Child Safety Seat
- Infants should never ride in the front of a vehicle that has a passenger airbag.
- Harness straps go in the lower slots or below shoulder level.
- Harness traps should always be snug and clips should be at armpit level.
- Straps should lie flat and should never be twisted.
- Straps should go between the legs. Change their outfit if you must to allow this. Always adjust the straps to adjust for the thickness of your child’s clothes. Keep in mind that bulky clothes can increase slack in a crash.
- Pad the sides of the seat and the area between your child’s legs to keep your child in an upright position in the seat. Diapers and receiving blankets are perfect for this.
- Make sure the carrying handle is in the down, or resting position when the seat is in the car.
- In order to protect your child’s neck, they should always sit in the back of the car, facing the back of the vehicle.
- Infant seats go in the back of the car, facing the rear, and sitting at a 45-degree angle. If your child’s head is able to flop forward, you may need to recline the seat more. Tilt the seat by adding padding (rolled towel, other fabric) under the front of the seat.
- Make sure your car seat comes with top tether straps. The tether strap attaches the car seat to the window ledge or floor of the vehicle. The tether makes it more difficult for the child safety seat to be flung forward in a crash. Newer seats have tethers but older seats may not. You can order tether kits from the car seat manufacturer. Follow installation instructions carefully.
In the Event of a Car Collusion – Safety First
- Safety should always come first when your car breaks down or you have an accident. Be aware of your surroundings. Jumping out of the vehicle at a busy intersection to change a tire or check for damages from a collision is never a good idea. According to the Insurance Information Institute, drivers should follow these precautions:
- Never get out of the car on a busy highway. Drive the car to a safe place before you get out. If you find yourself in an accident, wave the other driver to do the same.
- If driving the car to a safer location is not an option, remain in the car and call someone for help. It’s almost always a bad idea to stand outside of the vehicle to wait for help in heavy traffic.
- Use flares or triangles to mark your location once you get to a safe spot on the side of the road. Marking your area alerts drivers to your situation. Always use your hazard lights as well.
- If your tire blows out, move to a safe location before tackling the repair. It doesn’t matter if your wheel gets ruined getting to a safe spot. Nothing compares to the high cost of your personal safety.