Car seats and booster seats provide protection for infants and children in the event of a car crash. It’s important to choose and use the right car seat for your child at every stage. It’s also vital to use the car seat correctly every time your child is in the car. So the Accident Recovery Team has outlined some important steps to help you follow car seat safety. We’re here to help keep your child safe.
Choosing the Right Car Seat
There are many types of car seats and as children grow, how they sit in the car will change. A vital element of car seat safety is to choose the right seat for your vehicle, as well as your child’s age and size. Not all car seats fit in all vehicles so if possible, test the car seat you plan to buy.
Rear-Facing Car Seats (Birth-3 Years)
Infant car seats are a child’s first car seat. They’re a small, portable seat that can only be used rear-facing and are designed for newborns and small babies. Most babies outgrow their infant seats before their first birthday. Parents can then upgrade their car seat safety option to a convertible or all-in-one car seat and use it rear-facing. Pediatricians recommend keeping children rear facing for as long as possible. With a convertible car seat, the seat can switch from a rear-facing seat to a forward-facing seat as the child grows. An all-in-one seat can change from a rear-facing seat to a forward-facing seat and finally to a booster seat as a child grows. Because both of these car seats can be used with children of various sizes, children can stay rear-facing longer.
Forward-Facing Car Seats (1-7 Years)
In addition to the convertible and all-in-one car seats, a combination car seat can be used when a child is ready to be forward-facing. It transitions from a forward-facing seat into a booster, but can not be used as a rear-facing seat.
Booster Seats (4-12 Years)
A booster seat raises and positions a child so the vehicle’s lap-and-shoulder belt fits properly over the hips and across the chest. Alongside the all-in-one and combination car seat safety options, there are also high back and backless booster seats. A high back booster provides neck and head support. It’s ideal for vehicles that don’t have head rests or high seat backs. Backless booster seats do not provide head and neck support and are ideal for vehicles with headrests.
Installing Your Car Seat
If a car seat is not installed correctly, a child’s safety is at risk. As you install your car seat, be sure to carefully read the car seat’s instruction manual. Car seats must be secured tightly and shouldn’t move more than an inch when pulled at the belt path. For a forward-facing seat connect the tether strap to the tether anchor and tighten. For a rear-facing seat, the car seat should be installed at the correct recline angle. If available, use the built-in angle indicators or adjusters to help with this step. Many local fire and police stations offer free car seat safety inspections. The Wichita Fire Department acts as a car seat inspection station on the 2nd and 4th Thursday of every month. It’s by appointment from 10am -12pm and held at the 731 N. Main location.
Fitting Your Child in the Seat Correctly
Even with the appropriate car seat, it’s vital that children are strapped in correctly for maximum car seat safety. First, properly position the harness on your child. For all car seats the harness straps should lie flat, not twisted. In rear-facing car seats, they should be placed through the slot at or below your child’s shoulders. A forward-facing car seat should be placed through the slot at or above your child’s shoulders. Then buckle the harness and chest clip, and tighten until extra material cannot be pinched at the shoulder. Move the chest clip to armpit level.
Accident Recovery Team is Here
If you’re ever in a wreck with a car seat, it’s important to replace your car seat regardless of the damage. Then reach out to the Accident Recovery Team to schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced attorneys. We only get paid when we settle or win the case. Recover from your injuries and have peace of mind with the Accident Recovery Team on your side.