I get up in the morning, rush around to get ready, and place my sleeping child in her car seat. I buckle the straps and tighten, but is that enough? National Car Seat Check Saturday is coming up this weekend (September 22, 2012) and it has made me realize I need to get my car seat checked. The staggering statistics in my last blog post were more than enough to make me understand how important a safe car seat really is.
In light of National Car Seat Check Saturday, many states are offering free car seat inspections. Click here to find one near you. It could be one of the most important Saturdays you spend with your child.
The National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration provides car seat recommendations for children to help any parent with the responsibility of driving a child:
Birth-12 months: Your child under age 1 should always ride in a rear-facing car seat. There are different types of rear-facing car seats: Infant-only seats can only be used rear-facing. Convertible and 3-in-1 car seats typically have higher height and weight limits for the rear-facing position, allowing you to keep your child rear-facing for a longer period of time.
1-3 years: Keep your child rear-facing as long as possible. It’s the best way to keep him or her safe. Your child should remain in a rear-facing car seat until he or she reaches the top height or weight limit allowed by your car seat’s manufacturer. Once your child outgrows the rear-facing car seat, your child is ready to travel in a forward-facing car seat with a harness.
4-7 years: Keep your child in a forward-facing car seat with a harness until he or she reaches the top height or weight limit allowed by your car seat’s manufacturer. Once your child outgrows the forward-facing car seat with a harness, it’s time to travel in a booster seat, but still in the back seat.
8-12 years: Keep your child in a booster seat until he or she is big enough to fit in a seat belt properly. For a seat belt to fit properly the lap belt must lie snugly across the upper thighs, not the stomach. The shoulder belt should lie snug across the shoulder and chest and not cross the neck or face. Remember, your child should still ride in the back seat because it’s safer there.
Foremost encourages all parents to be safe while driving, especially with a child passenger. Your safety is number one to us; contact a Foremost agency to talk about an auto insurance policy.