Article at a Glance
• Infants under 2 should remain in a rear-facing car seat.
• Children under 8 years of age need to be in a car seat or booster.
• Learn how to properly install your child’s car seat.
• Car seats can reduce the chance of a fatal injury by 71 percent for infants and 54 percent for children ages 1 to 4.
We all want to keep our children safe, but sometimes car seat safety gets overlooked. Although 96 percent of parents think that their car seats are properly installed, studies show that 7 out of 10 children are not properly restrained.
Often the rules and recommendations change, so it can be hard to keep up with the latest regulations. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has recently started a new effort to keep parents informed. Along with public service announcements, they have created a website at www.safercar.gov/parents/ with information on how to properly secure infants and children.
Simply placing your car seat or booster in your vehicle isn’t enough. Car seats are only effective if they are properly installed and used. And it can make a huge difference. Car seats can reduce the chance of a fatal injury by 71 percent for infants and 54 percent for children ages 1 to 4.
Tips for Proper Car Seat Installation
• The Right Fit: Seek professional help when installing your car seats. Take a minute and sign up for a fitting with the Utah County Health Department. To schedule, call (801) 851-7035. You can also attend a free class provided by the health department.
• Rear-Facing Until 2: For the first two years of life your child’s head is heavier than their body. The impact from a crash is too much for their neck to support. Remaining rear-facing provides the extra support needed to prevent injury.
• Backseat Rider: Children should ride in the backseat until they are 13. The seats and airbags in the front are intended for males weighing between 150 to 160 pounds. They can harm your child and possibly cause fatal injuries.
• Give Them a Boost: In Utah, the law says that children under the age of 8 and less than 57 inches tall must ride in a booster seat. The booster puts their bodies at the right height for the seatbelt and reduces the chance of major injury.