Every 33 seconds, one child under the age of 13 is involved in a motor vehicle crash. Deaths and injuries can always be prevented by proper use of car seats, boosters, and seat belts. Here is what you need to know to help your family stay safe.
All children ages 12 and under should ride properly buckled up in the back seat of all motor vehicles.
All children 2 and under should always ride in a rear-facing car seat that is placed in the back seat of the vehicle. Never place a rear-facing car seat in the front seat or in front of an airbag. Airbags can kill young children riding in the front seat, if they are not the proper height, weight and age.
Keep children in a rear-facing car seat as long as possible. It’s the best to remain rear- facing until they reach the maximum height or weight limit allowed for that particular car seat. Once outgrowing a rear-facing car seat, your child is now ready to travel in a forward-facing car seat with a harness.
Keep children in a forward-facing car seat with a harness until they have reached the maximum height or weight limit. Roughly around ages 4-7, children outgrow the forward-facing car seat, and move to a booster seat, which is still placed in the back seat.
Children should stay in booster seats until they are big enough to fit in a seat belt properly. For a seat belt to fit properly, the lap belt must lie across the child’s thighs, not the stomach. The shoulder belt should lie snug across the shoulder and chest, never across the neck or face. Once children have reached the proper height and weight to use a seat belt, remember that for the best protection they should remain in the back seat until age 12.