In 2010, over 1,200 children under age 14 died in car accidents, and approximately 171,000 were injured. However, the proper use of car seats and seat belts save lives. That same year, buckling up saved the lives of over 300 children under age 4.
Still not convinced of the importance of child safety seats? You may be interested to know that car seats reduce the risk of death resulting from car accidents by 71 percent for infants and 54 percent for toddlers. Similarly, booster seats reduce the risk for serious injury by 45 percent for children ages 4 to 8.
The safest place in a car for children of any age is in the back seat, buckled up according to their age, weight and height recommendations. Let’s take a look at what those are:
- Up to age 2: Infants should be buckled into a rear-facing car seat in the backseat of the car. Infants should remain in this seat until they outgrow the weight and height limits of the particular car seat, as stated in the instruction manual.
- Ages 2 to 5: Toddlers should be buckled into a forward-facing car seat in the backseat of the car. Just as with the infant seat, toddlers should remain in this seat until they outgrow the weight and height limits of the particular car seat.
- Ages 5 to 9: Young children should be buckled into a booster seat in the backseat of the car. This type of seat positions the seat belt to better fit the small bodies of children. Children should remain in this seat until they can rest their back against the seat and their knees can bend comfortably over the seat’s edge; this usually occurs between ages 8 and 12, or once your child reaches 4 feet 9 inches.
- Ages 9 and up: Older children should buckle their seat belts, preferably in the backseat until exceeding age 13. Seat belts should be used once they fit children properly; this occurs when lap and shoulder belts fit comfortably without digging into the neck. Do not allow children to tuck the shoulder strap behind their backs. If your car has shoulder belt height adjusters, the fit can be customized for optimal comfort.
Child safety seats only work if they’re properly installed and the child is buckled up according to the instruction manual. Make sure you read all directions before hitting the road. Once your child is old enough to use the car’s seat belt, make a rule that you don’t start the car until everyone is buckled up. This will teach your children to put safety first with each car ride.
Protect your car for the continued safety of you and your family. Call Silver Coast Auto Insurance at 855-323-3600 for more information on Rancho Cucamonga auto insurance.