By Dr. Stacey Maslow
Southboro Medical Group Pediatrics
Many people don’t realize that car crashes are one of the leading causes of death for young children. That’s why making sure your child is restrained properly in a child safety seat when traveling is so important. Children riding in an approved car seat are far less likely to be injured in the event of a crash.
The type of seat your child needs depends on several things, including your child’s age and size and the type of vehicle you drive. There’s no doubt that choosing the proper car seat for your child can be a little complicated. The following website has a detailed car seat guide that can help:
Some Tips on Staying Safe
- To maximize safety, use a car seat for your child as long as possible. It’s safe to use a car seat as long as the child fits within the manufacturer’s height and weight requirements.
- Booster seats reduce the risk of nonfatal injuries in a crash by 45 percent among 4 to 8 year olds. Use them!
- Children under the age of 8 who are outgrowing their booster seat cannot transition to wearing a seat belt until they are over 57 inches tall.
- The back seat is the safest place for your child. Keep your child in the back seat at least through age 12.
When in Doubt, Get it Inspected
It’s important that child car seats are installed properly. At least 8 out of 10 children in a child safety seat are not buckled in properly. Learn to correctly use the car seat by reviewing the instructions from the seat manufacturer as well as the vehicle owner’s manual.
If you have any questions about installing or using your child car seat correctly, you should get it inspected by an approved technician. The following website will show a location in your area where you can get your car seat inspected by a Child Passenger Safety Technician to make sure it is safe for your child.
Accident? Replace Your Child Car Seat!
The NHTSA recommends that child car seats be replaced following a moderate or severe crash in order to ensure a continued high level of crash protection for passengers – even if there was no child in the seat at the time. (Child care seats are basically designed to withstand one accident.) More detailed information on replacing your child car seat after an accident can be found inside your owner’s manual. If you are uncertain, you can contact the manufacturer for clarification.
Child car seats do a wonderful job of protecting children in a car crash. However, they have to be used properly to reap the full benefits. To protect your children as much as you can, make sure that you are following all the guidelines carefully – the life of your child could depend upon it!
About Stacey Maslow, MD
Dr. Maslow has been practicing medicine for 17 years. When asked why she became a doctor, Dr. Maslow explains, “As a small child I frequented urban areas while accompanying my grandmother on various immigration and health projects that were her passion. These experiences sparked my fascination with how city life effects people and their physical and emotional health. I decided at the age of 11 that I wanted to be a doctor because I...View profile View posts by this doctor