Studies show three out of four car seats are installed incorrectly. In a crash, that can mean life or death for your child. Each year hundreds of children are killed in car crashes and thousands more are injured.
Sally Kreuscher, a child advocacy program coordinator with Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida, says it’s important to make sure the child’s car seat is installed correctly. “It’s making sure that you use the right seat for your child, every time. We want to make sure that they check the seat. Come have it checked out by a certified technician. You don’t want the seat moving more than an inch front to back or side to side. You want to make sure the harness straps are nice and tight.”
Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida will check car seats for families. As the child grows, parents may not realize when it’s time to get a new car seat and how the seat is supposed to be installed. “We want to make sure we have the right height and weight for the child. We actually show the families how to install the seat but they are the ones who are actually doing the installation. So we want them to become familiar with their seat,” said Kreuscher.
Children up to two years old should be rear facing in their car seat. Experts say that’s because their neck and spine muscles aren’t developed enough to be facing forward. “Children should remain in a car seat until it reaches the max height and weight of that seat. Florida law actually says until their sixth birthday,” said Kreuscher.
If anyone else picks up the child, it’s important they also know how to use the car seat. The overall goal is to keep children safe in the car.
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