Child Safety

Smart advice for using child safety seats.

Motor vehicle accidents are the number one killer of children under the age of five in the United States. That’s why child safety seats are required by law in all 50 states and why it’s so important that you understand proper use of them.

Here are ten tips to help ensure your children’s safety.*

  1. Before using any child safety seat, read both the seat’s instructions and the vehicle owner’s manual for details on how to secure the child safety seat in your vehicle.
  2. The safest child safety seat is the one that correctly fits your child’s age and size, fits your vehicle, and is properly installed every time.
  3. Try to get your child’s safety seat inspected by a certified technician to ensure proper installation.
  4. Choose the proper type of safety seat for your child: Rear-facing seats are for infants, convertible seats are for infants and toddlers, and booster seats are for older children who aren’t big enough to use your vehicle’s safety belt.
  5. According to experts, children should ride rearward-facing in the back seat of vehicles until they’re at least two years old or have reached their rear-facing child safety seat’s limits for height or weight.
  6. Infant carriers should only be used rearward-facing in a vehicle. But convertible child seats can safely be used either rearward-facing or forward-facing.
  7. A rear-facing infant seat should NEVER be placed in front of a passenger air bag.
  8. Forward-facing child seats and convertible child seats in the forward-facing direction should be used by children over two years of age or those who have reached the limits of their rear-facing convertible child safety seat. Forward-facing child seats should be used up to the weight or height limits set by the seat manufacturer.
  9. Children above the weight or height limits for forward-facing child seats should use a belt-positioning booster seat until the vehicle’s standard seat belts fit properly.
  10. Young kids of all ages are safest when properly restrained in your vehicle’s back seat. Even children who have outgrown a booster seat should use a seat belt in the back seat until at least age 13.

*Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)

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