Child Safety: Car Seats - WHLT 22 Connecting the Pine Belt

Child Safety: Car Seats

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According to the Centers for Disease Control, child safety seats reduce the risk of death by 71% for infants and 54% for toddlers ages 1 - 4. Then children should remain in a booster seat until they're big enough to wear a seat belt, which is at least age 8.

Buckling up should come second nature to anyone, but parents should be conscious of proper ways to protect their children in a motor vehicle.

"The child's body and all is not as advanced as a human's is," Lt. Jon Traxler said.  "It's not developed as much an adult, so therefore when a crash happens, the child has a greater chance of being injured while an adult might not."

He said the fine for a child who isn't properly restrained is around $70.

"Just because you're in one, if they're not in there properly, you could also be charged with it as well," Traxler said.

He said once the seat belt is buckled, it should be pulled tight.  The base of the seat shouldn't move more than two or three inches from side to side, and it shouldn't move up and down at all.

He also said parents should bundle their kids up for the incoming cold weather, but get them down to one layer of clothing before putting them in the car seat.

"What that causes is the child to accelerate in a crash before hitting the seat belts," Traxler said.

He said that acceleration causes organ damage.

Here's a break down according to Traxler. A child younger than 12-months or fewer than 21 lbs. should be in a rear-facing car seat.

"You also want to place the child in the rear seat in the middle," Traxler said.  "That has your greater protection on it because it's further away from the doors for side impact."

Toddlers ages 1 - 4 should be in a restrained car seat.  After that until at least age 8, kids should ride in a booster seat so that the seat belt fits across their lap and shoulder instead of their stomach and neck.

Traxler said for parents to carefully read the instruction manuals and warning labels on the car seats and check the safety ratings.

 

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