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The Car Coach: Child safety seats
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All children must be restrained in an appropriate child restraint system while riding in a motor vehicle. Each state has its own specific safety laws, but consider this fact: motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death and injury for children of every age between 2 and 14 in the United States.
Additionally, child safety seats reduce the risk of fatal injury by 71 percent for infants and by 54 percent for toddlers in passenger cars.
In 2006, motor vehicles crashes claimed the lives of 1,794 children under age 15 and injured 208,000 more!
Everyday in the United States, an average of 5 children aged 14 and younger are killed and 568 are injured in motor vehicle crashes.
Using a child safety seat properly can make the biggest difference in protecting your child.
Based upon the results of child safety seat checks conducted across many states, the "misuse rate" is actually much higher - it is more than 90 percent!
The best way to protect your child in the car is to put them in the right seat, at the right time, and use it the right way.
There are so many car seat types and models, how do you know which one is right for your child? The right car seat or booster fits your child and your car, and is one you will use correctly every time you travel. Not only will your child ride as safely as possible, you will be establishing the foundation for a lifelong habit of seat belt use every time your child travels.
•Select a car seat based on your child’s age and size, and choose a seat that fits in your vehicle and use it every time.
•Always refer to your specific car seat manufacturer’s instructions; read the vehicle owner’s manual on how to install the car seat using the seat belt or LATCH system; and check height and weight limits.
•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.
Keep your child in the back seat at least through age 12.