Safety Tips



 
11Safety Seats

AS MANY AS TWO-THIRDS TO THREE-FOURTHS OF ALL SAFETY SEATS ARE BEING USED IMPROPERLY.

Traffic collisions are the Number 1 killer of children and young adults, according to Los Angeles Area child Passenger Safety Association.

When mom-to-be is pregnant, she should place the lap belt low, under the baby. The shoulder harness goes over the shoulder and across the center of the chest. Never tuck the shoulder harness under the arm. If you put the shoulder belt under your arm, you are putting the force of the collision on your ribs which may be broken by the impact and may endanger your internal organs.

An infant should be buckled securely in a child restraint on his first ride home from the hospital. The worst place in the car for your baby is in your arms.

And always put the baby in the safety seat when riding with grandparents, aunts and uncles, or anyone traveling with the baby.

Place the safety seat in the back seat of the car, which is safer than the front seat. According to Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 213-80, for maximum protection, the rear center seating position is the safest position in most vehicles as long as the center seat is equipped with a lap belt.

If your child's safety seat is in use and a crash occurs, retire it gratefully and replace it with a new seat.

All safety seats made after 1980 must be crash tested. Look for the name of the manufacturer and date of manufacture to ensure you are buying a safe seat and not a counterfeit seat or one that has not been properly tested.

Read the instructions regarding proper use of your safety seat. Some common mistakes include the following:

Not using the harness.

Not attaching the safety seat to the safety belt.

Placing the safety belt in the wrong location on the safety seat.

Placing infants not yet able to sit up in a forward facing position.

Not attaching tether straps.

Using harness-type booster seats with a lap belt only.

Moving children under 4 years old to safety boosters much too early.

Omitting the use of a shoulder strap retainer clip.

Leaving the harness straps and/or belt loose.

By reading the instructions carefully, a parent should be able to avoid these mistakes.

If a parent, grandparent or caretaker has any questions regarding the safe use of infant, toddler or booster seats, please contact your local Child Passenger Safety Association or call (310) 673-2666.

 

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