We have all been there – been THAT mom. The one who is a frazzled mess, throwing bags, and blankets, and kids into the car in a rush to get somewhere. Realizing you forgot something, running back inside, running back out, and maybe even running in again. You come out to find that the kid that you put in the car seat and buckled up is now somehow sitting on the floorboard playing with the latest dropped snack from who knows when. If you are reading this and have no idea what I am talking about – please, tell us all your secret!
But if you have been there, you can relate to this message from the Ad Council and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Most of us are busy, that is just how it works today. And the last thing on our mind when we set out to drive to work, a play date, or even vacation, is whether our kids are in the right car seat.
Can you imagine? Thinking that your child is in the right car seat, only to find out that they aren’t!
The statistics are devastating – every 33 seconds a child under 13 is involved in a car crash in the United States. That is a LOT of kids getting into accidents. Car seats, if used correctly, can dramatically reduce the risk of fatality or injury. But over half of car seats are misused in a way that could reduce their effectiveness and 1 in 3 children killed in car crashes are completely unrestrained at the time of the crash. #TheRightSeat can save a life – plain and simple!
There is no doubt that as parents, keeping our kids safe is always our number one priority. And it IS a stressful job!
With so many different car seats on the market today, parents can find it very overwhelming. But the Ad Council and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has made it just a little bit easier for us!
Car crashes are a leading cause of death for children 1 to 13 years old. We need to get out a message that will educate parents and caregivers about the importance of selecting the right seat for their child’s age and size, and to remind them that car seats, booster seats and seat belts offer the best protection for children in crashes and help save lives!
So what do you choose?
Infant, convertible, or booster seat? Finding the right car seat and installing it correctly is no easy task. Then there’s the question of when to transition your child to another type of car seat. Following these steps will help you find the right car seat based on car seat type, age and size recommendations, and will show you how to install your car seat the correct way.
You can customize the look and feel of any car seat, but there are three basic types of car seats to choose from:
- Rear-Facing Car Seat: It has a harness and, in a crash, cradles and moves with your child to reduce the stress to the child’s fragile neck and spinal cord. To maximize safety, keep your child in a car seat rear facing for as long as possible.
- Forward-Facing Car Seat: Has a harness and tether that limits your child’s forward movement during a crash. To maximize safety, keep your child in a car seat for as long as the child fits within the manufacturer’s height and weight requirements.
- Booster Seat: Positions the seat belt so that it fits properly over the stronger parts of a child’s body. Keep your child in a booster seat until he or she is big enough to fit in a seat belt properly.
As a parent, you are your kids’ strongest influence when it comes to modeling safe driving practices, including buckling up every time you get in the car. Teach your family that safety is the responsibility of all passengers as well as the driver.