Children’s car seats have become so ubiquitous that it’s easy to forget the real purpose they serve. It’s important to remember that they are not arbitrary safety precautions but crucial to helping keep your children out of harm’s way should you become involved in a car accident. But it’s more than just owning a car seat – you have to use it properly as well. Adults aren’t the only ones the ones involved in accident statistics. As NPR reports, a recent study revealed that 25% of children who were involved in an accident where someone else died were not properly buckled into their seat or simply not buckled in at all. On top of that, 43% of children who died were not properly buckled into their seats either.
What this data shows is just how important it is to understand how to properly restrain and buckle your child in a car seat. Make sure you’re following these steps to ensure that your child is safe while in the car.
Make Sure The Child is Properly Positioned
First things first, you need to make sure that your child is properly placed in the car seat. You also need to have a seat that’s a proper for the child, with the straps coming in aligned or below the child’s shoulders and directly between their legs. Perhaps most importantly, especially in the case of infants, you’ll want to make sure the child’s head is properly positioned in a safe position.
Buckle The Straps and Make Sure They’re Snug
Now it’s time to buckle up. When you connect the straps, double check that they’re snug. You don’t want the child to slide around in the seat but you also don’t want the straps to be too tight and cut off circulation. Make sure it’s just tight enough to keep the child comfortable and in place.
Recline The Seat
If you’re driving with an infant, they will need to have their seat reclined because of the strength they lack in holding up their head. By being reclined back, this takes pressure off the child’s neck.
Swaddle The Child
More than just affection and reassurance, swaddling the child allows you to verify that there’s nothing beneath the child. You don’t want anything interfering with the safety of the child or putting unwarranted pressure on them.
These simple but crucial steps can be vital to protecting the life of your child. Taking the time to walk through them step-by-step before you leave the driveway or parking lot is all it takes to give your child added safety and keeping these statistics down.
If you’re involved in an accident and have a case that needs to be made, Elsner Law Firm can help.