Keeping Your Child Safe in the Car
By Charles H Geneslaw, MD
November 16, 2020
You may be surprised to learn that many car seats are not used properly. In fact, around 46 percent of car and booster seats are improperly used, which greatly impacts their efficacy. With car accidents being the leading cause of death in children in the US, parents must know how to keep their children safe while riding in the car. If you have questions about keeping your child safe, your pediatrician is here to answer all of your questions.
Types of Car Seats
Before your child can just start buckling up like a big kid, they need to use car seats. Children from birth until 3 years old will use a rear-facing car seat. From 3-7 years old children will upgrade to the forward-facing car seat. Then the booster seat is typically used anywhere from 5-12 years, depending on their height and manufacturer’s guidelines. Children should be at least five years old, weigh at least 40 pounds and be over the height and weight requirements for their forward-facing car seat to be ready to upgrade to a booster seat.
Choosing the Right Car Seat
When it comes to choosing a car seat, we know that it can be difficult to narrow it down. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) provides useful information to help you find the right car seat by comparing different ones on the market. You can also talk to your pediatrician, who can provide you with a wellspring of information and advice on choosing the right car seat for your little one.
Installing Your Child’s Car Seat
Before starting, it’s important to read the manufacturer’s installation guide so that you can better understand the car seat and how it should be installed. Along with following the installation guide that comes with the car seat, the NHTSA also provides some helpful safety tips for a successful installation.
Did you know that once you have your car seat in-place that you can have it inspected to make sure that it’s properly installed? This can provide families with the peace of mind that they need to know that their child is safe every time they buckle up.
From booster seats to booster shots, you must be doing everything possible to keep your child healthy and safe. This also means finding quality pediatricians that you trust to provide you with the tips, advice, and care to support your child’s health.