Child Passenger Safety Week is an annual event commemorated from September 20 to the 26th this year. The goal is to promote education and awareness of the proper ways to install and use a car seat appropriate for a child’s height and weight.
Picking the Right Car Seat For a Child
Not just any car seat will do. The right type of restraint must accommodate a child’s age and size. Newborns and infants under two must be in rear-facing car seats. In fact, birthing centers at hospitals will not allow babies to leave the facility without appropriate restraints.
Once children reach a certain height and weight, they can transition to a front-facing seat placed in the back seat of a car. Around two-years-old, they can continue in that type of seat. Around the age of four, children can sit in booster seats restrained by an adult seatbelt.
At eight-years-old or 57 inches in height, they can use an adult safety belt, again preferably in the back seat.
Equally important is registering with the manufacturer after the seat is purchased and before it is installed. Ongoing information on that specific seat helps future decision-making should it need repairs or is under a recall.
A study done by the National Highway Safety Traffic Administration (NHTSA) revealed that nearly 60 percent of all child safety seats are used incorrectly. With the leading cause of death for children continues to be car accidents, more than one-third of those children were not restrained, according to an NHTSA study in 2017.
Far too many children are traveling in motor vehicles unbuckled or restrained by seats that do more harm than good. Over several years, these so-called safety devices can degrade. Many are recalled, yet the announcement never reaches the parents. Far too often, outcomes involve tragedies.