Child Safety Seats: Easy Guidelines to Prevent Tragedy

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Be a smart parent. Learn these important guidelines for the proper use of child safety seats.

Safety seats in your car are the best way to protect a child in the event of an accident. The position of traditional seat belts and the airbags designed to protect adults are not sufficient to protect children in the car. Small statures and low weights make it difficult for the standard safety features to prevent a child from being thrown from the vehicle during a front-end collision or from being seriously injured during a side collision. While it is unlikely that you will ever need the life-saving features of a safety seat, it is always better to be too safe, than not safe enough.

  1. Find a seat that is the right size for the child’s age, height, and weight. Most safety seats will have general guidelines to help you choose a seat that will protect your child, but it is important not just to buy one that is the right “age” for your child, but actually the right size. Most child safety seats will also be rated for certain height and weight strata, so use those guidelines to pick the right size for your child.
  1. Read reviews and test the seat. Before committing to a safety seat, you will want to thoroughly read the reviews. Chances are, there will be someone who has actually seen this seat “in action,” and can testify either to how safe it is or how unsafe it is. Don’t just look at the overall rating, read through the reviews one by one, paying attention to those who mention how safe it is and how comfortable it is. Once you have a selected a seat, try it in your car before really committing to it. You can always take a seat back if it does not have the features or the protection you need.
  1. Make sure your seat is properly installed. Your child safety seat will come with instructions and a diagram for ensuring it is properly installed. Review that information before you actually put your child in the seat, so you can make sure that it is correctly secured in your vehicle. Having a seat that is incorrectly installed is as bad as having no safety seat at all. Follow the instructions and check your work before you drive away.

If you follow these guidelines when selecting, buying, and using child safely seats, you’ll be well on your way to preventing a tragedy when an accident happens.

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