Proper use of car seats helps keep our children safe. Certainly, one of our most important duties as as a parent is maintaining our children's safety at all times, particularly when riding in a vehicle. Thousands of young children are killed or injured in car crashes each year.
With so many different car seats on the market, many parents find this topic overwhelming and confusing. The type of seat your child needs depends on several things, including your child's size and the type of vehicle you have.
For lots of useful, in-depth information about choosing the most appropriate car seat for your child, proper installation, air bags and children, and more, go to healthychildren.org.
Additionally, healthychildren.org has provided a checklist of important reminders regarding the safety of children and vehicles.
1. Be a good role model. Make sure you always wear your seat belt. This will help your child form a lifelong habit of buckling up.
2. Make sure that everyone who transports your child uses the correct car seat or seat belt on every trip, every time. Being consistent with car safety seat use is good parenting, reduces fussing and complaints, and is safest for your child.
3. Never leave your child alone in or around cars. Any of the following can happen when a child is left alone in or around a vehicle. A child can
*Die of heat stroke because temperatures can reach deadly levels in minutes.
*Be strangled by power windows, retracting seat belts, sunroofs, or accessories.
*Knock the vehicle into gear, setting it in motion.
*Be backed over when the vehicle backs up.
*Become trapped in the trunk of the vehicle.
4. Always read and follow the manufacturer's instructions. If you do not have the manufacturer's instructions for your car seat, write or call the company's customer service department. They will ask you for the model number, name of seat, and date of manufacture. The manufacturer's address and phone number are on the label on the seat. Also be sure to follow the instructions in your vehicle owner's manual about using car seats. Some manufacturers' instructions may be available on their Web sites.