Child Passenger Safety
Did you know:
- Car crashes are the leading cause of preventable injury or death for children in the United States.
- Correctly used child safety seats can reduce the risk of death by as much as 71 percent.
- 3 out of 4 car seats are not used or installed correctly.
Choose the right car seat. When buying a car seat remember to making sure it fits your child, weight and height.
The American Academy of Pediatricians recommends:
- Children should ride in a rear-facing car safety seat as long as possible, up to the limits of their car safety seat. This will include virtually all children under 2 years and most children up to age 4.
- Once they have been turned around, children should remain in a forward-facing car safety seat up to that seat’s weight and length limits. Most seats can accommodate children up to 60 pounds or more.
- When they exceed these limits, child passengers should ride in a belt-positioning booster seat until they can use a seat belt that fits correctly.
- Once they exceed the booster limits and are large enough to use the vehicle seat belt alone, they should always use a lap and shoulder belt.
- All children younger than 13 should be restrained in the rear seats of vehicles for optimal protection.
Install your car seat
To learn how to install your car seat, you can schedule a car seat installation appointment with a child passenger safety technician at the Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida. Please call our Child Advocacy Department at 239-343-5101.
Install the car seat either with a seat belt or lower anchor but not both. When installing forward facing remember to use the top tether.
For more help in selecting and installing a car seat, use the Ultimate Car Seat Guide.
Properly fit the harness
Use a 5-point harness that goes over the shoulders and around the hips, buckling at the crotch and chest. then tighten. Move the chest clip to armpit level.
Make sure the harness fits snugly on the child by doing the pinch test at the shoulders. Your fingers should slide off the harness webbing. If you pinch the harness webbing the harness is loose and needs to be tightened. Check the labels for harness weight and height maximums.
When rear-facing, the harness must be at or below the shoulders. For forward-facing, the harness must be at or above the shoulders. Once your child has outgrown the car seat harness, move him to a booster seat.
When to change the car seat
Check the car seat labels for the weight, height and age limits of the car seat. Once your child has outgrown the rear-facing car seat, move them to a forward-facing harness car seat then to a belt positioning booster seat with a lap and shoulder belt.
Your child is ready for the seat belt only when they pass the 5-point booster test:
- Sits all the way back on the vehicle seat without slouching
- Knees bend over the edge of the seat
- Feet touch the floor
- Lap belt sits low at the hips and not on the stomach
- Shoulder belt fits across the body and sits on the shoulder and not high on the neck or face.
Replace the car seat if it is expired, recalled, has been in a crash or is damaged. Check with the car seat manual for more information or car seat manufacturer if you have any questions.
You will need the car seat model number and date of manufacture, which is found on a label on the side, back or bottom of the car seat.
For more information click here.
To schedule a car seat install please call our Child Advocacy Department at 239-343-5101.
Never leave your child unsupervised in the car.
• Every 10 days a child dies in a car from heatstroke. More than half of the time the caregiver forgot the child was in the car.
• A car heats up 19 degrees in just 10 minutes. Cracking the window doesn’t help.
• A young child’s body heats up 3-5 times faster than an adult’s.
Prevent heatstroke by remembering to ACT.
Avoid heatstroke-related injury and death by never leaving a child alone in a car, not even for a minute. And make sure to keep your car locked when you’re not inside so kids don’t get in on their own.
Create reminders. Keep a stuffed animal or other memento in your child’s car seat when it’s empty, and move it to the front seat as a visual reminder when your child is in the back seat. Or place and secure your phone, briefcase or purse in the backseat when traveling with your child.
Take action. If you see a child alone in a car, call 911. Emergency personnel want you to call. They are trained to respond to these situations
For more information, click here.
Front Over & Back Over
Each year emergency rooms treat 9,000 because of injuries in and around vehicles. Many times these tragedies occur in driveways or parking lots and the driver is often a family or friend of the child.
Take a few seconds before you get in the car to walk all the way around your parked car to check for children.
Designate a safe spot for children to wait when nearby vehicles are about to move and make sure the drivers can see them.
Accompany little kids when they get in and out of a vehicle. Hold their hand while walking near moving vehicles, in driveways, parking lots or on sidewalks.
For more information, click here.
For more general information about kids safety visit: safekids.org