SEAT BELT SAFETY TIPS
· Seventy-three percent of car seats are not used or installed correctly, so before you hit the road, check your car seat. Here’s a quick car seat checklist to help you out. It takes only 15 minutes. If you are having even the slightest trouble, questions or concerns, certified child passenger safety technicians are able to help or even double check your work.
· Learn how to install your car seat for free. Safe Kids hosts car seat inspection events across the country where certified technicians can help make sure your car seat is properly installed. They will teach you so that you can always be sure your car seat is used correctly. Find a Safe Kids car seat checkup event near you.
· Buy a used car seat only if you know its full crash history. That means you must buy it from someone you know, not from a thrift store or over the Internet. Once a car seat has been in a crash, it needs to be replaced.
· We know that when adults wear seat belts, kids wear seat belts. So be a good example and buckle up for every ride. Be sure everyone in the vehicle buckles up, too.
· Never leave your child alone in a car, not even for a minute. While it may be tempting to dash out for a quick errand, the temperature inside your car can rise 20 degrees and cause heatstroke in the time it takes for you to run in and out of the store.
· Use a booster seat with the vehicle lap AND shoulder safety belts until your child passes the following Safety Belt Fit Test:
· Be sure your kids are ready for a seat belt by giving them the following Safety Belt Fit Test:
o Your children’s knees should bend at the edge of the seat when their backs and bottoms are against the vehicle seat back; and
o The vehicle lap belt should fit across the upper thighs; and
o The shoulder belt should fit across the shoulder and chest. Children are usually between 8 and 12 years old when the seat belt fits them properly.
· Once your children pass the Safety Belt Fit Test, teach them the importance of using seat belts on every ride, whether they’re with you or not. This is a habit you can instill at an early age. If they learn this lesson early, they’ll be more likely to buckle up when they’re older or when you’re not around.
· Kids are VIPs – just ask them. VIPs ride in the back seat, so keep all kids in the back seat until they are 13.
· When adults wear seat belts, kids wear seat belts. So be a good example and buckle up for every ride. Be sure everyone in the vehicle buckles up, too.
· A lap and shoulder belt provides the best protection for your children and should be used on every ride.
· We know kids like to slouch or lean against the windows during the drive, but it makes a difference in terms of safety. Have your children sit upright when using seat belts.