Keep children safe in cars; Car Seat Installation Tips

BALTIMORE (WMAR) — Up to 80 percent of parents unknowingly misuse their children’s safety seats. With car accidents a leading cause of death for children, advocates are using Baby Safety Month to make sure car seats are used and installed correctly.

The Association of Manufacturers of Juvenile Products celebrates Baby Safety Month each September to help parents safely navigate early childhood.

“Many parents and caregivers don’t have all the information they need to properly and safely care for their children, so this is our month to reach out to consumers and let them know some of the tips and tricks and the importance of following instructions. from the manufacturer,” said Joe Colella, director of child passenger safety for JPMA.

This week is Child Passenger Safety Week and Colella is raising awareness about the main mistakes parents make when using car seats.

He said that two to three children die every day in car accidents across the country and, in 2020, nearly half were not restrained and of those in car seats, about half were not properly installed.

Car seats can help reduce the risk of injury from accidents in general and can reduce the risk of fatal injuries by up to 71 percent. However, errors in the correct choice, installation or use of car seats can compromise the protection they offer.

“One of the most dangerous places you take your children is in your car, and the best thing we can do to protect those children is to have them properly buckled up, in the right car seat for their age, size, weight, and developmental level. and using that car seat correctly, installing it correctly in the vehicle, and sometimes it’s confusing. There are many different vehicles. Seating positions vary. There are a lot of different car seats out there, so matching them up is hard,” Colella said.

Keep children safe in cars; Car Seat Installation Tips

Some tips to keep children safe in cars:

  • Delays transitions from rear-facing to forward-facing, forward-facing to a booster seat, and from a booster seat to a seat belt. Use each restraint mode until you reach the maximum height or weight allowed by the instructions for that mode.
  • Keep car seat harnesses tight. Properly fitted harnesses limit how a child’s body would move in a crash to help reduce injuries.
  • Properly fasten and adjust the top tether on your forward-facing car seat to reduce the risk of head injury.
  • Use a booster seat from the time your child outgrows a forward-facing car seat with harnesses until the seat belt alone fits properly. Booster seats help keep seat belts on strong bones to protect internal organs.
  • Read and follow car seat instructions, vehicle instructions, and your state laws to protect your child.

Starting October 1 a new Maryland law will require children to ride rear-facing until at least age 2 and children under 8 years of age to ride in an appropriate car seat unless the child is taller than 4′ 8”.

Colella recommends that a professional inspect the installation of your car seat. On Saturday, September 24, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., a car seat check event will be held at Carlos Rosario International Public Charter School, 1100 Harvard Street NW, Washington, DC 20009.

maryland kiss, or Kids in Safety Seats, also offers in-person seat checks and low-cost seats for families who qualify. There are also virtual check options. here.

In addition to car seat safety, JPMA offers other tips for keeping children safe at home and on the road.

Because children are very curious and always get into things, the JPMA recommends that parents and caregivers start each morning with a daily safety check to spot potential hazards in your home from the baby’s point of view (kneeling and hands) and offers the following tips to help with common security questions.

JPMA said locks and bolts to secure household items can prevent many injuries.

  • Put locks and latches on all cabinets in the bathrooms, kitchen, garage, and laundry room.
  • Even with locks and latches, be sure to move all chemicals and medications up high where little hands can’t reach them.
  • Keep the poison control center number on your phone and on your refrigerator in case of an emergency (1-800-222-1222).

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, each year in the United States, about 3,500 babies die from sleep-related infant deaths. The safest place for your baby to sleep is in a JPMA certified unprotected crib or other approved sleep product.

  • Use a new crib that has not been recalled.
  • The crib must be assembled with the manufacturer’s accessories and following only the manufacturer’s instructions. Save the instructions for future use.
  • Always use a mattress that fits properly in your baby’s crib.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s weight and development recommendations for sleep products.
  • Never add extra bedding, pillows, blankets, or stuffed animals to a baby’s crib.

For more information on Baby Safety Month and a full list of safety tips, visit BabySafetyMonth.org.

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