Archive for the ‘booster seat’ Tag

Child Passenger Safety: Get the Facts

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Know the stages
Make sure children are properly buckled up in a car seat, booster seat, or seat belt, whichever is appropriate for their age, height and weight.

Birth up to Age 2: Rear-facing car seat.
For the best possible protection, infants and children should be buckled in a rear-facing car seat, in the back seat, until age 2 or when they reach the upper weight or height limits of their particular seat. Check the seat’s owner’s manual and/or labels on the seat for weight and height limits.

Age 2 up to at least Age 5: Forward-facing car seat.
When children outgrow their rear-facing seats they should be buckled in a forward-facing car seat, in the back seat, until at least age 5 or when they reach the upper weight or height limit of their particular seat. Check the seat’s owner’s manual and/or labels on the seat for weight and height limits.

Age 5 up until seat belts fit properly: Booster seat.
Once children outgrow their forward-facing seat, (by reaching the upper height or weight limit of their seat), they should be buckled in a belt positioning booster seat until seat belts fit properly. Seat belts fit properly when the lap belt lays across the upper thighs (not the stomach) and the shoulder belt lays across the chest (not the neck). Remember to keep children properly buckled in the back seat for the best possible protection.

Once Seat Belts Fit Properly without a Booster Seat: Seat Belt
Children no longer need to use a booster seat once seat belts fit them properly. Seat belts fit properly when the lap belt lays across the upper thighs (not the stomach) and the shoulder belt lays across the chest (not the neck). For the best possible protection keep children properly buckled in the back seat.

Install and Use Car & Booster Seats Properly
Install and use car seats and booster seats according to the seat’s owner’s manual or get help installing them from a certified Child Passenger Safety Technician.

Find a child passenger safety technician.

Don’t Seat Children in Front of an Airbag
Buckle all children aged 12 and under in the back seat. Airbags can kill young children riding in the front seat. Never place a rear-facing car seat in front of an air bag.

Seat Children in the Middle of the Back Seat
Buckle children in the middle of the back seat when possible, because it is the safest spot in the vehicle.14

Use Proper Restraints Every Trip
Buckle children in car seats, booster seats, or seat belts on every trip, no matter how short.

Parents and Caregivers: Always Wear a Seat Belt
Set a good example by always using a seat belt themselves.

Read more at: http://www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/child_passenger_safety/cps-factsheet.html

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Car Seat Recommendations for Children

There are many car seat choices on the market. Use the information below to help you choose the type of car seat that best meets your child’s needs.

Select a car seat based on your child’s age and size, choose a seat that fits in your vehicle, and use it every time.
Always refer to your specific car seat manufacturer’s instructions (check height and weight limits) and read the vehicle owner’s manual on how to install the car seat using the seat belt or lower anchors and a tether, if available.

To maximize safety, keep your child in the car seat for as long as possible, as long as the child fits within the manufacturer’s height and weight requirements.

Keep your child in the back seat at least through age 12.

Rear-Facing Car Seat

Birth – 12 Months

Your child under age 1 should always ride in a rear-facing car seat. There are different types of rear-facing car seats:
Infant-only seats can only be used rear-facing.

Convertible and All-in-one car seats typically have higher height and weight limits for the rear-facing position, allowing you to keep your child rear-facing for a longer period of time.

1 – 3 Years

Keep your child rear-facing as long as possible. It’s the best way to keep him or her safe. Your child should remain in a rear-facing car seat until he or she reaches the top height or weight limit allowed by your car seat’s manufacturer. Once your child outgrows the rear-facing car seat, your child is ready to travel in a forward-facing car seat with a harness and tether.

Forward-Facing Car Seat

1 – 3 Years

Keep your child rear-facing as long as possible. It’s the best way to keep him or her safe. Your child should remain in a rear-facing car seat until he or she reaches the top height or weight limit allowed by your car seat’s manufacturer. Once your child outgrows the rear-facing car seat, your child is ready to travel in a forward-facing car seat with a harness and tether.

4 – 7 Years

Keep your child in a forward-facing car seat with a harness and tether until he or she reaches the top height or weight limit allowed by your car seat’s manufacturer. Once your child outgrows the forward-facing car seat with a harness, it’s time to travel in a booster seat, but still in the back seat.

Booster Seat

4 – 7 Years

Keep your child in a forward-facing car seat with a harness and tether until he or she reaches the top height or weight limit allowed by your car seat’s manufacturer. Once your child outgrows the forward-facing car seat with a harness, it’s time to travel in a booster seat, but still in the back seat.

8 – 12 Years

Keep your child in a booster seat until he or she is big enough to fit in a seat belt properly. For a seat belt to fit properly the lap belt must lie snugly across the upper thighs, not the stomach. The shoulder belt should lie snugly across the shoulder and chest and not cross the neck or face. Remember: your child should still ride in the back seat because it’s safer there.

Seat Belt

8 – 12 Years

Keep your child in a booster seat until he or she is big enough to fit in a seat belt properly. For a seat belt to fit properly the lap belt must lie snugly across the upper thighs, not the stomach. The shoulder belt should lie snugly across the shoulder and chest and not cross the neck or face. Remember: your child should still ride in the back seat because it’s safer there.

As read on: http://www.safercar.gov/parents/CarSeats/Right-Seat-Age-And-Size-Recommendations.htm

Top Booster Seat Mistakes

1. Letting your child use a regular seat belt too soon.

Why it’s unsafe: Seat belts are designed for an adult and can cause seriously injuries if they don’t fit properly.

What AAA recommends: Use a booster seat until the adult seat belt fits properly with the lap portion of the belt fitting low across the child’s hips and the shoulder belt across their sternum and collar bone. Proper belt fit may not be possible in some cases until age 12 or 13.

2. Allowing children to place the seat belt under their arm or behind their back when using a booster seat.

Why it’s unsafe: Improperly worn seat belts can cause injuries! A seat belt placed under the arm can cause fragile ribs to break which can in turn cause additional injury. A seat belt behind the back eliminates upper body protection and can cause serious spinal injury or even ejection.

What AAA recommends: Make sure children wear their seat belt properly with their booster seat and remain in proper position the whole trip.

3. Skipping a booster seat when carpooling or riding with friends

Why it’s unsafe: Most crashes occur close to home and can occur at any time – even a one-time exception could result in serious injury.

What AAA recommends: Don’t compromise safety for convenience. Use a booster on every trip and make arrangements in advance when carpooling to ensure your child has their booster seat.

4. Using a low back booster in a seat without head rests.

Why it’s unsafe: Riding in a backless booster seat in a vehicle with no head restraint can cause head, neck and spinal injuries in a crash or sudden stop.

What AAA recommends: Make sure your vehicle has head restraints to protect your child before considering using a backless booster seat. If not, use a high back seat that offers head/neck protection.

5. Not buckling in empty booster seats.

Why it’s unsafe: Booster seats that are not in use can go flying in a sudden stop or crash and cause injury if they are not buckled in the vehicle.

What AAA recommends: Buckle up booster seats even when children are not riding in the car to keep yourself and other passengers safe.

As read on: http://safeseats4kids.aaa.com/top-booster-seat-mistakes/?sf31132198=1

Top 12 Car Seat Mistakes

1) Moving your child out of a booster seat too soon.

Consequence: Seat belts are designed to fit adults, not children. Improper seat belt fit can result in abdominal or neck injury in a crash or sudden stop.

Recommendation: Keep your children in booster seats until the seat belt fits them properly. Children should be able to sit with their back against the seat, knees bending at the edge of the seat and feet touching the floor. The lap belt should be positioned low across their hips and upper thighs with the shoulder belt across their chest and collarbone. Depending on your child’s growth and development, a seat belt typically fits correctly between ages 8 – 12.

2) Not installing the car seat tightly enough.

Consequence: If the seat belt or lower anchor connection is too loose, the car seat will not stay put, subjecting your child to greater crash forces.

Recommendation: The car seat should not move side-to-side or front-to-back more than 1 inch when tested at the belt path.

3) Harness straps too loose.

Consequence: If harnesses are too loose, your child will not be properly restrained in the event of a crash. This may subject your child to higher crash forces, or even ejection from the seat altogether.

Recommendation: Harness straps should lay flat and not have any twists. Be sure the harness is snug enough that you cannot pinch any extra material at the child’s shoulder.

4) Retainer clip (or chest clip) is too low.

Consequence: The retainer clip helps keep the child secure in the car seat in the event of a sudden stop of crash. When a retainer clip is too low, a child can come out of the harnesses or the hard, plastic retainer clip can cause internal damage to their abdomen.

Recommendation: Place the retainer clip at armpit level.

5) Turning your child forward facing too soon.

Consequence: Children in the second year of life are 5 times less likely to die or be seriously injured in a crash if they ride in a rear-facing car seat. Turning a child forward facing before age two can result in head , neck or spinal cord injury due to the their underdeveloped bodies.

Recommendation: A child should remain in a rear-facing seat as long as possible until they reach the upper weight or height limit allowed by the car seat manufacturer. Once your child outgrows a rear-facing infant seat, switch to a rear-facing convertible car seat with higher height and weight limits.

6) Allowing a child under the age of 13 to ride in the front seat.

Consequence: children under the age of 13 are typically not large enough to safely ride in the front seat and can be seriously injured by front passenger air bags in the event of a crash.

Recommendation: All children under age 13 should be properly restrained in the back seat.

7) Forgetting the top tether.

Consequence: Without the top tether, your child’s head and neck will be subject to excessive forward movement in a crash or sudden stop.

Recommendation: When recommended, always use the top tether with both LATCH OR seat belt installations.

8) Adding additional padding, toys or mirrors to your child’s car seat.

Consequence: Using products that have not been tested with the car seat may interfere with how the seat was designed to perform in a crash. Loose items, such as mirrors, can also become a dangerous projectile in a sudden stop or crash.

Recommendation: Only use products that come with the seat or are recommended by the seat manufacturer. Be sure to secure all lose items in a vehicle truck or storage space.

9) Installing a car seat using LATCH in the center rear seat of a vehicle (when not permitted by the manufacturer)

Consequence: Most vehicles do not support LATCH installations in the center rear seat. Using lower anchors intended for outboard seats could cause the system to fail and the car seat to be thrown in a crash.

Recommendation: Always read your vehicles owner’s manual and only use lower anchors in seating positions that are approved by the vehicle manufacturer.

10) Transporting unsecured, heavy items, including pets, in the vehicle.
Consequence: Loose items in the vehicle can become dangerous projectiles and seriously injure passengers in the car.

Recommendation: Secure items in a truck, glove compartments or storage location. Properly restrain pets with approved devices.

11) Installing a car seat using both LATCH AND a seat belt.

Consequence: Installing a car seat with more than one system may put unnecessary stress on the car seat and affect its performance in the event of a crash.

Recommendation: In this case, tow is not better than one. Install the car seat in approved seating positions with LATCH OR the seat belt. Do not use more than once system unless the car seat manufacturer and vehicle manufacturer permit it.

12) Wearing bulky coats/sweaters while buckled into a car seat.

Consequence: Unapproved padding, including coats and sweaters, placed behind or under the harness can compress in a crash, creating slack in the harness system.

Recommendation: Place blankets or jackets over the child after the harness is sung and secure.

As read on: http://safeseats4kids.aaa.com/for-parents/top-12-car-seat-mistakes/?sf18823336=1

AAP’s new car seat guidelines change rear facing & booster rules

Everything you thought you knew about car seats is wrong. Okay, not everything, but things have changed and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) along with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced new guidelines today. And it’s big news! The recommendation is that children rear face longer and they also changed the details for kids in boosters.

More from The Stir: 7 Rules for Buying & Installing a Car Seat

It was believed that 1 year and 20 pounds was the benchmark for forward facing babies in car seats, despite evidence elsewhere that that was still dangerously early. Now, hopefully, with new guidelines, parents and doctors can get on board and spread the word about the safest practices for children. Here are the details.

New Rear-facing Recommendation: Parents are to keep children rear-facing until 2 years old, or until they reach the maximum height and weight for the seat as noted in the manual.

Safe Kids agrees. Two years is a goal easily met, considering even some of the lowest cost seats now rear-face until 40 pounds. When your baby outgrows their infant carrier, that is when you buy a convertible seat that rear-faces longer, not a forward-facing seat, which you can put upright up to 30 degrees when kids are bigger with better head control, often making them take up less space than infant seats.

New Boostering Recommendation: Children should ride in a belt-positioning booster (that means a high-back!) until they are at least 4 foot, 9 inches, AND 8-12 years old.

Jennifer Hoekstra, the Safe Kids Program Coordinator at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital in Grand Rapids, shared:

In working with parents, we educate them beyond the law and share with them the best practice for keeping their child safe. We strongly agree with the new AAP policy and support the extended rear-facing limits as well as the new booster seat advice.

It’s best to keep children in their harnessed seat until they outgrow it, which is into elementary years with the height and weight of most convertible seats and even harness-to-booster seats these days. But they will outgrow it and go into a booster, and eventually they need to meet all points in a 5-point test before they’re ready to sit in a car’s seat without a booster of any kind. Remember that these belts are designed to fit an average adult. Best practice is also waiting until children are 80-100 pounds as well.

More from The Stir: The Forward-Facing Car Seat Controversy Continued

Beyond that, all kids need to stay out of the front until they’re at least 13 years old.

While 2 years or 8 years may now be the minimums, we don’t parent by minimums, do we? Buying a high quality (not necessarily high cost!) seat to start, after you do all your research to choose the best seat for your child, can easily help you meet these recommendations.

Make sure you’re using the car seats correctly, too. There’s a lot of intricacies for both harnessed seats and boosters. When in doubt, find a Safe Kids inspection station or event and get checked out by a tech. And hopefully more and more pediatricians, with these new recommendations, will be on board as well, and we can maybe put an end to vehicle related-injuries being the number one cause of death in kids ages 2-14.

As read on: http://shine.yahoo.com/parenting/aaps-new-car-seat-guidelines-change-rear-facing-booster-rules-2466904.html