My daughter is only two years old, but she sits in her car seat like a queen. She sits semi-reclined with her head cradled by the plushy interior of the car seat, and she has two cup holders because one just won’t do! Life is good in this car seat. What she doesn’t know is that her car seat is more than a comfy throne; it might save her life. According to a review of crash data from 2017 by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), car seats saved the lives of 325 children under the age of five during that year.
As Roadway Safety Professionals, the engineers at Sain help improve roadway safety by analyzing crash patterns as well as recommending and overseeing improvements. However, you don’t have to be an engineer to make a difference. We all can improve the safety of children riding in vehicles.
In celebration of Child Passenger Safety Week, here are a few tips to keep in mind if you have a child in your vehicle.
- Keep your child in the back seat at least through age 12.
- Model the behavior you want to see by wearing your seatbelt. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), a driver’s seat belt use strongly influences whether the child will buckle up.
- Each car seat is unique, and it is important to consult the manufacturer’s user manual for how to use your specific car seat.
- Know your child’s height and weight. Their height and weight, not age, will determine if they’ve outgrown the current car seat or booster.
- There is always help! You can ask for installation help at a local Car Seat Inspection Station. Consult the list of Car Seat Inspection Stations in Alabama to find one near you.
- Remember to register your car seat, which will put you on the list to be notified if there is a recall.
Unfortunately, in the United States, car crashes remain the number one cause of death of children under the age of 13. Thankfully, there are great resources like the NHTSA and the NSC to help us improve child passenger safety. At Sain, we will continue to use our skills as transportation professionals to improve the roadways in our communities and expand awareness for child passenger safety.