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3 important car seat safety tips for parents

On Behalf of | May 6, 2024 | Auto Accidents

Fit parents usually want to give their children every opportunity in life. They also have a responsibility to meet their children’s needs and protect them from known dangers. New parents often go to great lengths to make their homes and vehicles as safe as possible for their children.

Unfortunately, some parents make mistakes when it comes to making their vehicles as safe as possible. It is common for adults to make certain mistakes with different types of safety restraints they use for their children. Car seats are crucial for the protection of children because the traditional safety restraints installed in motor vehicles focus on the safety of the average adult male.

Car seats can save a child’s life in the event of a crash by ensuring restraints keep them in place in the vehicle. How can adults maximize the protection offered by a car seat?

Knowing the history of the car seat

Given that children do grow out of car seats eventually, some adults try to minimize what they pay by buying preowned seats. Some people can even receive a seat for free from friends, family or community members. Before installing a used car seat, a parent should inquire about its history. Car seats more than six years old may have brittle plastic that does not adequately protect a child. Car seats previously involved in a crash may not be sound enough to function properly in a second collision.

Don’t switch to the next seat too soon

Another common mistake that parents make is to move their child from a rear-facing car seat to a front-facing car seat too soon or to move a child from a standard car seat to a booster too early. Waiting until a child outgrows their current car seat and comparing the child’s weight and height to the manufacturer’s specifications are both crucial for the protection of a child riding in a car seat.

Keep kids under 13 in the backseat

Once a child is tall enough and heavy enough to safely ride in a vehicle without a booster seat, they may start requesting to ride in the front seat next to their parent. However, it is typically not safe for a child under the age of 13 to ride in the front seat of a vehicle. Even if the safety restraints fit them properly, they could be at extreme risk if the airbags deploy. Beyond that, the impulse control issues of young children can create distractions that might lead to a crash.

Parents who recognize that there are car seat safety guidelines worth following can potentially keep their children safer should a motor vehicle collision occur. Learning about age, weight and height rules for the different types of car seats can help optimize child protection in a vehicle.