Keeping Children Safe in the Car
The average American spends eight hours and twenty-two minutes in the car each week. It is impossible to know just how much of that time is moms running errands to target with their kids in tow, but it’s probably a considerable amount. We no longer live in a world of staying at home all day. Most families have multiple vehicles, and even if one parent is at work, the other parent is actively out and about during the day as well. That could be taking kids to school, taking them to activities, visiting the library, or just a starbucks and shopping trip. Wherever you are going and for however long you will be in the car, it is important to know how to keep your child safe.
Car Seat Safety
Car Seat safety should be of utmost importance to parents, grandparents, and babysitters alike. If there is a chance that you may have to transport a child, you should take the time to educate yourself on the correct life saving safety procedures. Car seat safety should be age appropriate and brand specific as each car seat differs slightly in design, capability and functionality. While it is true that we have come a long way in improving child automobile safety, we still have a ways to go.
The following are the most common errors that could cause serious injury to a child.
Many babies do not enjoy being in their car seats. It can be very tempting to loosen the belt straps to make them more comfortable for a more peaceful ride. Most parents feel the belt is too tight when it is accurately adjusted. The belts are designed to fit snugly and securely. The pinch test is the best way to guarantee the harness is not too loose.
Be sure to read the instructions or watch a video on how to adjust the tightness of these straps. It is also wise to be aware of when the straps should be adjusted as the baby grows. Adjusting harness straps is necessary.
A three point-harness safety belt is found in all modern american car seats. When babies are rear facing the top harness straps should be at shoulder height, not above. Forward facing children should have harness straps at or above shoulder level.
The chest buckle should be fastened tightly across the sternum. A way to check this is to align the belt with the armpits. This is so that on impact, the belt is attached in a way that will not break ribs, and will also keep the child securely and safely in their seat.
Every vehicle is different. It is important to read your vehicle manual to ensure that you are properly securing a car seat. There are multiple ways that this can be done depending on the accessories your vehicle offers.
Some other issues worth noting are how long a child should remain rear facing, what the weight limits are, and when booster seats are appropriate. We have access to so much good information, it would only take a quick search for a video on any of these topics to become more educated on the subject. It could save you and your family a lot of heartache.
As a quick summary, The belt should:
*Align with the armpits
*Pass the pinch test
*Be shoulder level
What happens if I’m in an accident?
If you are in an accident, you want to be absolutely sure that you did everything right to protect your child. If you follow these tips you can rest assured that you did the best thing for them. If you are in an accident, you may need to contact a car accident lawyer. If you or your child are injured in an accident you may have the right to a settlement. Contact the Loganville, GA car accident lawyers for a free consultation or the law firm nearest you.