Children under 14 years old in the United States are at high risk of being in a car accident that could lead to death. Improper use of the car seat and seat belt was reported in nearly every instance. Of those deaths that occurred under the age of five, half were unrestrained children. Each day, American children sustain permanent neck, brain, and spinal cord injuries that could have been prevented.
Seat belts and car seats, when used correctly, are extremely effective in avoiding serious injury and death. Save a life by making sure that your child is properly secured or restrained in your vehicle. Use the following one-minute car seat safety checklist to avoid preventable injury when in a car accident:
- Car seat is in a back seat (until no longer in a car seat—usually eight years old)
- Car seat is rear-facing (until at least one year old and at least 20 lbs.)
- Car seat is not placed in front of or near an airbag
- Car seat is installed correctly according to the “child seat” section of your vehicle owner’s manual
- Car seat is the appropriate size and durability for your child’s height, weight, and age
- Harness straps are at or below the infant’s shoulders
- Harness straps fit snugly without slack
- Chest clip is positioned at armpit level
Using a safety restraint correctly makes a big difference. If you follow the instructions in your vehicle owner’s manual and the installation instructions that you received with the car seat, you will greatly reduce the possibility of death or serious injury. The back seat is the safest place to be in a car accident.
You care about your family’s safety, and these rules of safe travel are not negotiable. No matter what you have heard, it is NEVER safer to hold your baby when you are in a vehicle and you should NEVER place an infant near an airbag. Think twice and save a life by using your car seat properly.
If you have any questions about an accident involving a loved one and you think we can help, please give us a call at (828) 505-4300. We serve all areas of North Carolina including Charlotte, Asheville, Greenville, Raleigh, Durham and Black Mountain.
Last updated 7/5/2015