Car seat safety has always been important to me.
We were rushing from school to ballet lessons and I had to change in the car. While in the back seat, changing into my leotard, our car was rear-ended. We were in traffic and not moving, but I will never forget flying into the back of the seat in front of me. I was so scared, but thankfully not hurt. Since then, I always wore my seatbelt.
At 16, my dad made sure I knew how important car safety was before I got my license. He gave me a folder full of photos of what could happen if I made bad choices in the car. I believe, since then, car safety has truly stuck with me.
As a mom, it’s at the forefront of my mind EVERY time I put my kids in the car. “Are the car seats safely installed? Did I check the seatbelt? Is everything positioned correctly? Is the strap tight enough?” My mind never rests.
#SeatCheckSaturday was created to promote car seat safety for kids.
The mission is to ensure kids are in the right seat for their height/weight, the car seat is correctly installed, and seat belts are fastened correctly. “With one child under the age of 13 injured in an automobile accident every 33 seconds, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) hopes everyone will spread the news.”-NHTSA
Here are some tips to make sure your car seat is safe:
1. Find a Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician
The best way to know if your car seat is safely installed is if you find a certified child passenger safety technician to help you. They will let you know when it is the right time to turn your tot around to face forward too. Often, we see parents turn their littles around too early, but according to the NHTSA, “Keep your child rear-facing as long as possible. It’s the best way to keep him or her safe. Your child should remain in a rear-facing car seat until he or she reaches the top height or weight limit allowed by your car seat’s manufacturer. Once your child outgrows the rear-facing car seat, your child is ready to travel in a forward-facing car seat with a harness and tether.”
2. Register Your Car Seat
This is simple… when you get your car seat, fill out the form that came with it or visit this site. The manufacturer will contact you if there is a defect of any kind.
3. Be Sure Your Child is in the Correct Car Seat
Do your research and know what is best for your child according to their height and weight. NHSTA says, “To maximize safety, keep your child in the car seat for as long as possible, as long as the child fits within the manufacturer’s height and weight requirements. In addition, keep your child in the back seat at least through age 12.”
4. Buckle Up Correctly!
Often times, I see car seat straps to loose and hanging off children. I hear from parents that their child doesn’t like the straps tight or they don’t want to hear their children cry. The simple point that we should take away from this topic is the only thing that matters is your child’s safety. Every time you put your child into their car seat, buckle them up the correct way. If you don’t know how check out The Car Seat Lady for tips… because you NEVER know.
5. Teach Safety
When your children see you buckling up every time you turn the car on, they will buckle up. If they know why it’s important to wear a seat belt, they will wear it. Lead and they will follow… and always keep safety in mind.
Our kids are the most important things in the world. Take these simple steps to help keep them safe. This year, #SeatCheckSaturday is on September 26, 2020. Make sure your car seats are safe and ready for your littles.
For more resources on car seats and car seat safety, please visit:
- Safe Kids Worldwide Car Seat Guide
- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
- Car Seat Safety: Learning How to Better Protect Our Child Passengers