Disclosure :: this post is sponsored by Touro Infirmary.
Is your child properly and safely strapped into your car? Many parents know the importance of child passenger safety but a majority of child restraint systems are often used incorrectly. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), children are more likely to be injured, suffer more severe injuries, or die in motor vehicle crashes when they are not properly restrained. An estimated 46% of car and booster seats (59% of car seats and 20% of booster seats) are misused in a way that could reduce their effectiveness.
Most accidental injuries and accidental injury-related deaths can be prevented with proper restraints. Studies show that when used correctly, car seats reduce the risk of death by 71% for infants and 54% for toddlers under 4 years old. It’s important to buckle children in their appropriate car seats, booster seats, and seat belts to reduce the risk of serious or fatal injuries.
The most common mistakes when installing or using child safety seats include:
- Safety belt not holding the seat in tightly and/or not in locked mode
- Harness straps not snug and/or positioned correctly
- Harness retainer clip not at armpit level
- Locking clip not used correctly
- Car seat recalled and not repaired (includes booster seats)
- Infants placed rear-facing in front of an active air bag
- Children turned forward-facing before reaching 2 years of age and 20 pounds
Car Seat Stages
Choosing the right car seat
There is a huge price range for car seats on the market. However, you don’t have to worry about buying the most expensive car seat for your baby. Even the less inexpensive car seats can provide the necessary protection for your bundle of joy.
When shopping, make sure the seat has a label stating that it meets or exceeds Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 213. You should always refer to your specific car seat manufacturer’s instructions. Also, read the vehicle owner’s manual on how to install the car seat using the seat belt or LATCH system, and check height and weight limits. If you are still unsure, you can visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) website for car seat ratings.
The NHTSA recommends buying a new car seat. But if you must buy it used, check the NHTSA’s website to see if it was recalled. You should also check to see if any parts are loose, worn or torn. Most importantly, do not use the car seat if it was involved in any severe accidents.
When should you replace your car seat?
Sometimes child safety seats are recalled for safety reasons. It is important to register your car seat to ensure that you are notified if the specific product is recalled. To check if your child safety seat has been recalled, call the seat’s manufacturer or the NHTSA’s Vehicle Safety Hotline at 888-327-4236. If the seat has been recalled, you will be instructed on how to repair it, or how to obtain parts to repair it.
Moreover, once a vehicle has been in a severe crash, child safety seats and seat belts should be replaced because they may have become stretched or damaged. Child safety seats are often replaced by insurance companies.
Child Passenger Safety Class
This class presents the basic types of Child Restraint Systems for Infants and Children and information on the proper fitting of Infant/Child seats in your vehicle. We also provide you with fitting station location information if you would like to have someone install your car seat for you.
When :: Monday, April 17 from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Where :: Touro Infirmary, President’s Room, 2nd Floor
This class is free of charge. Registration is required.
Click here to register or call 504-897-7319.
Complimentary parking will be available for all classes in Touro’s parking garage on Delachaise Street across from the Emergency Department.
About Cheryl A. Tschirn, RN, BSN
Cheryl A. Tschirn, RN, BSN is the OB Navigator for the Family Birthing Center at Touro Infirmary. Since the age of five, Cheryl knew she wanted a career in nursing. She graduated with a BSN from LSU’s School of Nursing in 1981. Cheryl began working in cardiology and pre and post surgical care. She found her calling in 1985 when she began working in Ambulatory OB/GYN nursing. For 28 years, Cheryl has worked in the field as a staff nurse, manager, and director. She has served in her current role as Community Educators since 2013 and states that her job is “an absolute joy”. Cheryl enjoys working closely with families and helping to prepare them to welcome a growing family.