baby seatbooster seatcar seat

Child Passenger Safety Week {Safety 1st} + giveaway

Did you know that September 15 – 21 is Child Passenger Safety Week? I have to say that car seats are probably one of the most stressful topics amongst parents. What do you do when you see someone you know using a car seat incorrectly? How about when you see someone put their six year old in the front passenger seat? What do you do? It’s really hard to watch other parents incorrectly use car seats, but as friends, all we can do is make sure that the education is out there for them. As a parent, it’s our responsibility to ensure our children are safe. I saw an accident last weekend right by my house where a passenger van blatantly ran a red light and smashed into the drivers door of an SUV, sending them flying. Unfortunately the SUV’s driver, a young mom, did not look like she was going to make it. What if her kids were in that car? The man who hit them didn’t even feel bad, he was only defensive. We all have to remember that it’s not about how we drive, but more about preparing for what other drivers out there might do. 

correct car seat

Background on Child Passenger Safety Week:

Car crashes are the leading cause of death for children age 1 through 12 years old.  Based on NHTSA crash data in 2010, almost an average of 2 children (age 12 and younger in a passenger vehicle) were killed and 325 were injured each day. This fatality rate could be reduced by about half if the correct child safety seat were always used.

Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Transportation and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the goal of Child Passenger Safety week is To make sure all parents and caregivers are properly securing their children (ages 0-12) in the best car restraint (rear-facing, forward-facing, booster, seat belt) for their age and size.

boostapackIn honor of this week, new Safety 1st is giving away one of their BoostAPak Belt-Positioning Booster Car Seat‘s to a lucky reader. The BoostAPak is designed to help keep kids in boosters longer, as it’s often hard to get an older child to stay in his or her booster seat. However, for children 4 to 7 years old, booster seats reduce injury risk by 59% compared to seat belts alone. (Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia).  Additionally, the AAP recommends children ride in boosters until the age of 12 or 57 inches; but only 13% of children 54-56 inches tall ride on one (NHTSA)

Tips and Assets:

Julie Vallese, Consumer Safety Expert for Safety 1st, created this video to talk about car seat safety.

If you are uncertain on whether your seat is installed properly, please head to NHTSA’s website (http://icsw.nhtsa.gov/cps/cpsfitting/) to find a local car seat check in your area.

Importance of Rear Facing

In March of 2011 the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) updated their car seat recommendations advising that children should remain rear facing until the age of two, or until they reach the maximum height and weight requirements allowed by their car seat. According to a study in the Journal of Injury Prevention children under the age of two are 75% less likely to die or be severely injured in the event of a car crash if they are rear facing. When a child is rear facing their head, neck and spine are better supported and in the event of an accident, crash forces are distributed over the child’s entire body.

Installation

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association, 75% of car seats are installed incorrectly.  Every car and car seat has different requirements for the safest installation so before you get started it is important to read both the car seat and car manual.

Typically the center rear seat is the safest place for a car seat, and never install a car seat in the front seat.  If your car does not have a latch connector for the middle seat, you can use the middle seat belt to properly secure the base.  When installing, make sure the base of the car seat moves no more than an inch from side to side. An easy way to test this is to hold at the belt path.

New parents and grandparents are encouraged to attend a car seat check before the baby is born.  However, don’t just rely on the experts. You’re likely going to be taking the car seat out and installing it somewhere else at some point, so make sure you’re comfortable with the process too.

Car Seat Expiration

Never use used or old car seats.  Car seats do have an expiration date and it is to understand the risks associated with using an expired or old car seat.  The reason for an expiration date is because plastic can warp and materials can fray, which can make car seats less safe to use.  Car seat technology and state and federal car seat regulations change.  A car seat deemed safe more than six years ago may no longer meet federal testing regulations.  Important warning labels may wear out and instruction books may get lost, which can lead to improper use of the car seat.

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41 Comments

  1. Janet W.
    September 19, 2013 at 3:09 am — Reply

    My biggest car seat concern is that I don’t have the belt positioned correctly! I’m always second guessing myself.

  2. Claire Rheinheimer
    September 19, 2013 at 4:15 am — Reply

    I’m very worried that we don’t have the seats installed properly, and I know my husband always loosens up the harness straps, I always have to tighten them after he puts out son in. Drives me nuts!

  3. amy pugmire
    September 19, 2013 at 4:23 am — Reply

    I never think I have it installed correctly!

  4. Sheryl
    September 19, 2013 at 5:04 am — Reply

    I always worry about how secure I have it and the kids don’t unlock the clip while driving.

  5. D SCHMIDT
    September 19, 2013 at 5:43 am — Reply

    My biggest concern is correct installation.

  6. christine jessamine
    September 19, 2013 at 7:12 am — Reply

    I am always concerned that I have read the instructions good enough

  7. Andrea
    September 19, 2013 at 7:31 am — Reply

    My biggest concern is proper seat belt strap placement and fit. I see too many children who are improperly strapped into their seat and would fly out in the event of a crash.

  8. angela m
    September 19, 2013 at 8:51 am — Reply

    My biggest concern is that it is installed correctly

  9. Jenn McClearn
    September 19, 2013 at 10:44 am — Reply

    I am always afraid that the seat is no installed correctly

  10. Lesley F
    September 19, 2013 at 12:22 pm — Reply

    My biggest concern is installing the car seat. I think it’s right but I am always second guessing myself

  11. loriag
    September 19, 2013 at 12:24 pm — Reply

    My biggest car seat concern is the proper positioning of restraints.

  12. Kristy S
    September 19, 2013 at 12:32 pm — Reply

    I think that proper instillation is the biggest safety concern.

  13. Anne Perry
    September 19, 2013 at 2:19 pm — Reply

    When to move toddler to forward facing. I would like him to still be rear facing…. however weight and height state otherwise.

  14. Stacey Roberson
    September 19, 2013 at 4:10 pm — Reply

    I’m always worried about installing the car seat incorrectly. I’m also worried about my son getting his arms loose from the straps while I’m driving.

  15. Kim Pollock
    September 19, 2013 at 6:39 pm — Reply

    That the straps are secure and the base of the seat is solid and secure!

  16. Darwin
    September 19, 2013 at 7:27 pm — Reply

    My biggest concern is whether the carseat is installed correctly.

  17. Abby
    September 19, 2013 at 8:26 pm — Reply

    My biggest concern is that the base isn’t sinched down tight enough.

  18. sandra davis
    September 19, 2013 at 11:24 pm — Reply

    my biggest concern is if it is installed the right way.

  19. Rebecca Parsons
    September 20, 2013 at 12:33 am — Reply

    What the crash test rating is on the seat.

  20. Erin
    September 20, 2013 at 7:21 am — Reply

    My biggest carseat safety concern is not having the harness snug enough.

  21. September 20, 2013 at 8:42 pm — Reply

    My biggest car seat concern is definitely, whether my kids’ car seats are safe enough.

  22. samantha colbert
    September 21, 2013 at 6:09 pm — Reply

    I am always worried that I dont have the straps tight enough and the five point harness positioned correctly.

  23. Vivian S
    September 22, 2013 at 11:46 am — Reply

    I am always concerned the straps are too tight or too loose.

  24. Jennifer Marie
    September 22, 2013 at 3:42 pm — Reply

    I always want to make sure that I have the seat positioned appropriately.

  25. Kelly D
    September 22, 2013 at 6:07 pm — Reply

    I worry about proper side impact protection.

  26. Elizabeth B
    September 22, 2013 at 6:20 pm — Reply

    I worry about getting the carseat in tight enough

  27. latanya
    September 22, 2013 at 6:42 pm — Reply

    having the seat installed the right way

  28. Melissa M
    September 22, 2013 at 7:51 pm — Reply

    Installation for sure

  29. brooke thomas
    September 23, 2013 at 3:19 am — Reply

    side impact

  30. Heidi Daily
    September 23, 2013 at 12:36 pm — Reply

    My biggest concern is having them strapped in tight enough, reading through the other comments, I’m glad to see I’m not the only one who goes behind my husband and tightens the straps.

  31. Jamie
    September 23, 2013 at 12:59 pm — Reply

    My biggest concern is whether the base loosens up after repeated use.

  32. Kimberlie
    September 24, 2013 at 11:20 am — Reply

    wrong installation! I always worry that the seat isn’t tight enough.

  33. vivian
    September 24, 2013 at 1:04 pm — Reply

    wondering if the seat is installed correctly

  34. Heather
    September 24, 2013 at 6:30 pm — Reply

    I’m afraid that I didn’t install it right. I have four to worry about!

  35. Stacey B
    September 25, 2013 at 5:51 am — Reply

    Mine is that it’s properly installed

  36. Stacey B
    September 25, 2013 at 5:53 am — Reply

    Following via pinterest — staceyrenee711

  37. Jason M
    September 25, 2013 at 7:53 am — Reply

    That its not tight enough

  38. Michelle Tucker
    September 25, 2013 at 8:31 am — Reply

    Mainly is the car seat safely harnessed in the car.

  39. Melinda Stephens
    September 25, 2013 at 9:52 am — Reply

    I worry that the straps aren’t tight enough. I swear they are looser when I take him out of his carseat than they were when I buckled him int.

  40. Laura Ellington
    September 25, 2013 at 3:22 pm — Reply

    Side impact and if he’s not buckled in correctly.

  41. September 25, 2013 at 8:34 pm — Reply

    Whether or not a seat is correctly installed is always a huge concern – I’m glad there are frequent car seat installation workshops in my community.

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