KEEPING YOUR CHILD SAFE IN A CAR
At Accident and Injury Chiropractic, we want to continue to encourage our clients to make choices that keep them safer when they drive. In our last blog, we focused on the importance of using seatbelts and using them correctly. Now let’s look keeping our children safe in the car.
Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death of children ages 3-14 in the United States, and in approximately one third of these fatal accidents, the children are not in car seats or wearing seatbelts. Many child deaths can be prevented by following some simple rules.
- According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), all infants and toddlers should ride in rear-facing car seats until they are at least 2 years old or—even better— until they reach the highest weight or height allowed by the car seat manufacturer.
- Children who have outgrown their car seats should ride in booster seats until they are at least 8 years old or are 4’9” or taller.
- Children are able to ride without a booster seat when they can easily rest their backs against the seat of the car and bend their knees over the edge of the seat.
- When securing an older child with a seatbelt, the lap belt should fit comfortably across the thighs, not the stomach, and the shoulder strap should go across the chest and shoulders, not under the child’s arm, behind the child’s back, or across the child’s neck.
- All children under 13 years of age should be properly secured in the back seat of the motor vehicle.
Child safety seats, when used correctly, are at least 60% effective in preventing fatalities. Unfortunately, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 3 out of 4 child safety seats are improperly installed. That’s a high number! You can find thorough instructions on proper car seat installation and use on the NHTSA website (www.nhtsa.gov/cps). You can also find information on the proper use of seatbelts there or in our previous blog, “The Proper Use of Seatbelts.” And remember, if you or a loved one are injured in an car wreck, Accident and Injury Chiropractic is here to help.