OMAHA – September 19 – 25 is National Child Passenger Safety Week as AAA states car crashes are the leading safety issues for children.
According to a release from AAA and the latest figures from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 183,000 children were injured in car crashes in 2018. That’s an average of more than 500 injuries per day.
AAA officials state that many of these injuries and deaths are preventable if the children are properly restrained in the vehicle. A child is far more susceptible to injuries in crashes than adults, because their bodies have not fully developed. The best way to provide optimal safety is to ensure your child is properly fastened in the right car seat, every ride.
The National Safety Council and AAA revealed new information as 52% of car seats inspected by Child Passenger Safety technicians are improperly installed and used; 73% of forward-facing car seats are incorrectly installed and 90% of children using adult lap-and-shoulder safety belts under the age of 10 should still be in a car or booster seat.
Parents with the best intentions may unknowingly be endangering their children by putting them in the wrong seat or not securing them properly. Car seat recommendations can vary as AAA urges parents to take a moment to ensure their child is setup for a safe ride.
AAA’s Child Passenger Do’s and Don’ts
- Use the right car seat. Types of seats vary based on age, weight and height – and recommendations should be followed according to car seat manufacturer instructions.
- Install your car seat correctly. It should have minimal side-to-side movement.
- Place car seats in the middle of the vehicle if possible, away from impact zones and windows.
- Get your car seat inspected.
- Fasten the safety harness properly. The harness should be clipped over the breast bone, with the belt fitting snugly over the lap. Improper placement of the belt or clip could itself cause injury to your child in a crash.
- Don’t move the car before everyone is seated safe and secure, including adults.
- Don’t let children sit in the front seat until they are at least 13 years old.
- Don’t put rear-facing car seats in the front seat, near active airbags.
- Don’t move a child out of their height/weight appropriate seat before they’re ready – according to car seat manufacturer instructions.
- Don’t move your child into a standard adult seatbelt until they’re big enough. Seat belts simply aren’t designed to fit kids – and can cause injury or death in the event of a crash if they don’t fit properly. A seat belt will properly fit a child when they reach 4’9” tall, typically between the ages of 8 and 12. Until then, they should remain in a booster seat.
- Read more here.