Child Safety In Cars

Jul 2, 2021 | Personal Insurance

Summer is a season of fun and outdoor activities. Children are on vacation and are out of school. People set up their backyard barbecues. It is a season where people get to relax and spend time with their families. While Summer does sound fun, this season is an imposition to healthcare workers that there is an increase in auto accidents. Distracted driving is something that you have to watch out for all year round. Especially during the Summer where the number of people out on the road is higher than usual. Hence, more accidents will happen.

Car Accidents Involving Children

Summer is a high time for children. But the sad part about this is that they are the most often victim of car accidents during this season. Most of these children’s injuries are also fatal and this is because they are not properly buckled inside the car. According to a study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 618,000 children were caught up in a car accident. The reason for this is that these children weren’t using the child safety seat or booster seat — not even a seatbelt at least. You can’t just ignore the number from the study. It justifies the reason why motor vehicle injuries are the number one cause of death in the United States among children.

Car Safety and Parenting

The realization doesn’t end there. If you think of it, many of these deaths are preventable. If only parents took the time to double-check that their children are well buckled, these accidents are preventable. It isn’t that the parents are reckless and don’t think of their children’s safety. Understandably, parenting is hard. If a mom hears her crying baby, the most common instinct is to hold the baby. Even inside a vehicle, the mom would rather hold the baby than hear the baby cry during the ride.

Holding the baby is a sweet and caring gesture to calm the baby down. Who would want to hear the wails of a baby inside a vehicle, anyway? But this is a small price to pay to keep your baby safe. Instead of holding the baby in the car, it is still best to keep them restrained properly. The correct way of restraining your children in a vehicle has a lot of factors including the children’s age and weight. So it is best to spend time and research on this depending on your child.

Parents aren’t alone in this. Most states make an effort to implement laws that would help minimize car accidents involving children in their area. These states have a seat belt law for people going in and out of their area. The seat belt law covers a wide range of age groups from adults to young adults, from infants to toddlers and children.

Remember that accidents can happen any time of the day. You cannot undo the past. It is best to make child safety in cars or elsewhere your top priority, and take time to keep your loved ones safe. 

Car Seat Tips

Any parent would want the best for their child and their safety. Taking care of a child is already exhausting. Aside from that, you also need to take into account their safety in different situations. Learning about car seats for children can be overwhelming, too. There are different products that you can choose from based on your preference. You would feel lost with all the options. 

To help you start your car seat for children’s journey, here are a couple of tips to make it easier.

Three Types of Car Seats:

Rear-facing only

The regular infant-only car seat. This type of car seat is best for children weighing 5 to 40 pounds. The car seat’s also positioned in a semi-reclined rear-facing way. A rear-facing car seat is usually small and easy to carry around since it is handled. Most models of a rear-facing only car seat have a detachable base. This base may stay in the car while you carry the actual car seat around. Parents can buy multiple bases and place them on different vehicles. In this way, parents don’t have to carry around bulky car seats in every vehicle. It’s advised that this type of car seat is only for traveling and nothing else. Always be mindful of the manufacturer’s notes on the car seat. The rear-facing only car seat can usually last up to the three years of age of a baby.

Forward-facing only

Once a baby outgrows the rear-facing only car seat, a forward-facing only car seat is next. A forward-facing only car seat has a higher height and weight limit and is bulkier than rear-facing car seats. This means that a child can use the forward-facing only car seat longer than the rear-facing one. It’s also bulkier since it’s used with a harness and top tether for extra protection.

Booster seat or belt-positioning seat

For children in school-age, it’s now time for them to upgrade to a booster seat in a vehicle. If a forward-facing only car seat comes with a harness and top tether, a booster seat has lap and shoulder belts. There are two types of booster seats that a parent can choose from. A high-back booster seat and a backless booster seat. There are models that one can remove the high backs to make it backless, too.

Picking Out The Right Seat

To choose the best car seat for your child considers the following tips:

  • Aside from the basic use and features of the car seat, check out the extra features too. Car seats for children are meant to give convenience to parents and safety for their children. No harm in getting your money’s worth with a car seat that can do more than the other ones.
  • Read the manufacturer’s label regarding the recommended height, weight, and age for each car seat that you’ll buy. Make sure to get a car seat that matches your child. This is meant to narrow down your choices and make sure that your child is securely restrained.
  • Buy new car seats. There are used car seats for sale that you can find on the Internet. It is still best to purchase new ones to make sure that it has no damages. You wouldn’t want to risk your child’s safety just to save a couple of bucks. Safety comes with a cost, but it is worth it.
  • Don’t forget to register the car seat. Manufacturers give the customers the option to register their car seats to give alerts regarding safety recalls. 

Installing Your Car Seat Correctly

After buying the car seat, all that’s left to do is install it correctly. Failing to install the car seat properly could make it useless and cause more injuries.

Be meticulous

Make sure to read the owner’s manual of your chosen car seat properly and review it before and during your process of installation.

Find the safest spot

Position your child’s car seat at the back seat and buckle it with a seatbelt. It is proven and tested to be the safest spot for a child’s car seat in the backseat.

Use accessories

You can use the vehicle’s seat belt to fasten and attach the car seat to the vehicle. Aside from the seat belt, you can also use the lower anchors or tethers for this. Car seats are meant to be fastened in a car. So feel free to use the amenities of your car to secure your child’s car seat.

Test the car seat

You don’t need to sit on the car seat to test it. Just make sure that the car seat won’t budge an inch if you try to pull the seat belt. The car seat, either front-facing or rear-facing, shouldn’t move or wiggle on all sides – front, back, and two sides.

Go to a professional

If you find yourself struggling with installing the car seat to your vehicle, better go to your local fire department. You can also go through the Internet and search for car seat inspection stations near your area. These establishments and organizations would help you in installing your car seat. They are trained to install car seats and make sure that it is 100% securely and properly installed in your motor vehicle.

Finding The Right Fit For Your Child

Checking the manufacturer’s manual for the advised weight, age, and height is just one thing you should look at. There are a couple more things to consider to make sure that your child fits right into the car seat.

  • For the best protection, a car seat that has a five-point harness is advised. This five-point harness should have straps that go over both shoulders and hips. And usually, this buckles at the crotch.
  • As your child continues to grow, adjusting the straps is something you should also do. This is also stated in the manufacturer’s manual for your child’s safety.
  • The harness comes in different forms, and belt placements are everywhere. Make sure to use the correct harness and belt placements for the car seat.
  • Once you’re done fastening your child to the seat, make sure to do the seat test again. Remember that it should not budge or wiggle an inch if you try to move it. You can try pinching the harness at the shoulder to test – if your fingers slide off then the seat is secure. Otherwise, the harness is loose, and you need to re-do it to fasten it securely. Tight and the snug car seat are the best for your child’s safety.

When To Change Seats

  • Wait until your child reaches the age limit based on the car seat’s manual.
  • Rear-facing only car seats should be used until the age of 2.
  • As your child’s physique changes and ages, make sure to change the type of car seat you are using too. This is to fit your child and ensure safety.
  • Moving to a booster seat is more than just the age, weight, and height. Observe your child and make sure that they are sitting still in the car seat. If they do so, they are now ready to move into the booster seat. If not, keep them in a forward-facing only car seat until they are ready.

Can’t Afford A Car Seat

There is no excuse to get a car seat. To protect their people, the government has programs that give out free car seats. It is not only limited to the government, there are also charities, church programs, and many other resources all over the United States. 

Advantage Insurance Solutions has your back! Get a quote from us today and you can rest assured that we are here for you in times of need. An excellent team gives excellent service. That’s what we give our customers with the best of our efforts. Call us toll-free today at (855) 973-1202 or (855) 712-6584.