Kids are the pride and joy of many of our lives.
It can be easy to overlook children being unbuckled or sitting in the front seat, but the reality is child passengers are at extreme risk for injury and death if they’re not sitting in the right kind of seat. Taking the extra time to buckle our kids up can be a lifesaver. In honor of child passenger safety week, here are some stats and tips on how to keep your child safe.
- In 2019 608 children under the age of 12 died in traffic accidents
- More than 91,000 were injured
- Of those child passengers, 38% weren’t wearing a seatbelt
- Roughly 46% of car seats and booster seats are not properly used
It’s up to us to keep our kiddos safe on the road. Make sure to mindful of taking the time to buckle kids up properly and make sure booster and car seats are secured. Also remember that your child often mirror what you do, and this extends to driving habits too. In 2019, 67% of fatally injured child passengers in car accidents who were unbuckled were being driven by someone who also was unbuckled. Car seats are effective at preventing injury in children by 71-82%
The type of car seat you have is critical to keeping you child safe. Here’s a breakdown of what’s appropriate for each age:
Birth until 2-4: Rear-facing Seats
Rear-facing car seat. Infants to toddles should be placed in a rear-facing carseat until they exceed the maximum weight or height limit for their car seat. Never place rear-facing car seats in the front seat. If you were to get in a crash, an airbag could cause serious or fatal injury to a child.
5: Forward-facing Seats
Once a child outgrows their rear-facing car seat, they should be placed in a forward facing car seat.
6-8: Booster Seats
Booster seats are for children who have outgrown the forward-facing car seta but who aren’t quite ready for a seat belt.
9-12: Normal Seat Belt
Once child is big enough to have the seatbelt fit properly across their body they can stop using a car seat. Seat belts should cross the upper thighs and shoulders/chest, instead of the stomach and face or neck.
Keep in mind that these ages are rough estimates, and the rate at which you child grows could mean they outgrow one type of seat quicker than other (or, that they need a certain type of seat for longer!).
We hope these tips are helpful in keeping your little ones safe on the road!