It’s back to school season. Here are tips from BuckleUpForLife.org to make sure parents are buckling up their kids correctly.
Now that school is back in session – we’ll be driving all over town! To and from classes, sports, grocery runs and more. But before you load the kids into the car, take a few minutes to brush up on your car seat safety skills. Did you know a staggering three out of four car seats are incorrectly installed? And motor vehicle crashes are one of the leading causes of death among children. The good news is that a properly installed car seat can help dramatically reduce injury and prevent death. That’s why Buckle Up for Life, the national car seat safety program from Cincinnati Children’s and Toyota, is sharing the following.
Tip number 1:
Always use the “Inch Test” and the “Pinch Test.” Pinch the car seat strap near the child’s shoulder; if you can pinch a wrinkle in the fabric, tighten the strap until it is snug. For the “Inch Test,” grab the car seat from the back and bottom and tug from side to side and front to back. If the seat moves more than an inch in either direction, tighten it.
Tip number 2:
Never add towels or extra layers between the seat and your child. Car seats can get hot in Florida weather, but don’t pile up towels in your child’s seat to keep them cool. Extra material could interfere with the seat’s ability to restrain the child in the event of a crash, so it is important to only use accessories and products specifically approved for use by the seat’s manufacturer. If the seat is hot – take some extra time to cool the car down before placing your child in the seat.
Tip number 3:
Don’t rent a car seat. If you are renting a car, use your own car seat. When you rent a seat, you don’t know important facts about its history that could affect its ability to protect your child, factors like expiration date and crash history. So on the side of caution, bring your own car seat. The good news is that most airlines allow you to check yours for free.
Tip number 4:
Secure loose items in the car. Make sure all loose items, including travel essentials like book bags, books or suitcases, are tightly secured in your vehicle. These objects could become projectiles in the event of a crash.
For more tips as well as handy resources like videos to help you install your car seat, visit BuckleUpForLife.org