Archive for the ‘children’ Tag

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

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Safe Kids Releases First-of-Its Kind Halloween Research Study

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“Twice As Many Child Pedestrians Are Killed While Walking on Halloween” ~ SafeKids.org Press Release 10/20/2011

Washington, DC – New Safe Kids research shows only one third of parents talk to their children annually about Halloween safety.  To complete this first-of-its kind study on Halloween-safety, Safe Kids commissioned Harris Interactive to conduct a poll of 935 parents with children ages 12 and younger to assess their knowledge, attitudes and behaviors related to Halloween safety.

On average, twice as many child pedestrians are killed while walking on Halloween compared to other days of the year.  On this potentially dangerous night of the year for child pedestrians, Safe Kids strongly recommends that parents prepare children to behave safely and for drivers to take extra precautions.

While most of the parent participants in the study have talked to their children about Halloween safety at some point, many have not made it an annual conversation.  Safe Kids urges parents to engage in repeated discussions with each child, every year to reinforce safety messages and safe behaviors because of the risks they face on Halloween.

“Given children’s limited attention spans, repeated and consistent messages about safe behaviors are key to preventing injuries,” says Kate Carr, President and CEO of Safe Kids Worldwide. “By following the basic safety tips provided by Safe Kids, Halloween can be a fun and safe night for children of all ages.”

According to the study, 40 percent of parents allow their child to use one or more unsafe item on Halloween such as a mask, loosing fitting clothing, and / or a sharp object – any of which could contribute to falls, burns or pedestrian injuries.  These are preventable hazards that could be avoided by following Safe Kids’ safety tips.

Another key finding of this report shows twelve percent of children five years of age or younger are permitted to trick-or-treat alone.  Not only should these young children be accompanied by an adult, but it is also recommended by Safe Kids that no child under 12 years of age spend Halloween night navigating the streets unsupervised.  This recommendation was made to protect children who often lack the maturity and cognitive ability to make appropriate decisions to accurately judge speeds and distance.

“It is alarming to hear that children ages five years and younger are trick-or-treating without adult supervision,” added Carr.  “If they are old enough and mature enough to trick-or-treat without an adult, parents should make sure children go out in groups and stick to a predetermined route with good lighting.”

In preparation for Halloween, Safe Kids coalitions across the country will team up with Walk This Way program sponsor FedEx to provide kids with reflective materials to promote visibility, including zipper tags that can be attached to costumes and trick-or-treat bags, as well as important safety information to children, parents, and drivers.  The Halloween study was made possible through funding provided by FedEx.

To ensure a safer celebration of Halloween, Safe Kids and FedEx recommend the following tips to parents and caregivers:

Trick-or-Treating Safety:

Children under 12 should trick-or-treat and cross streets with an adult.
Always walk on sidewalks or paths.  If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible.
Cross the street at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks.
Decorate costumes and bags with reflective tape or stickers and, choose light colored costumes that fit properly and avoid carrying sticks, swords, or other sharp objects.
Check treats for signs of tampering before children are allowed to eat them.  Candy should be thrown away if the wrapper is faded, torn, or unwrapped.

What Drivers Need to Know:

Slow down and be especially alert in residential neighborhoods.  Children are excited on Halloween and may move in unpredictable ways.
Anticipate heavy pedestrian traffic and turn your headlights on early in the day so you can spot children from greater distances.
Remember that costumes can limit children’s visibility and they may not be able to see your vehicle.
Reduce any distractions inside your car so you can concentrate on the road and your surroundings.

For more tips on how to help kids become safer pedestrians on Halloween, as well as throughout the year, visit http://www.safekids.org and visit our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/safekidsusa.

In 1999, Safe Kids Worldwide and program sponsor FedEx created the Safe Kids Walk This Way Program in the United States to teach safe behaviors to motorists and child pedestrians and create safer, more walkable communities.  This year will mark the twelfth yeah anniversary of the program.

As read on: http://www.safekids.org/our-work/news-press/press-releases/safe-kids-releases.html