September 15 - 21 marks Child Passenger Safety Week and Saturday September 21st is National Seat Check Day. We've teamed up with Safety 1st to bring you some great tips from the U.S. Department of Transportation and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on car seat safety and a chance to win one awesome car seat!
For children ages 1 through 13, car crashes are the leading cause of death. The goal of Child Passenger Safety Week is not to scare parents or care givers this week, but to help educate everyone on how to properly secure their children in the best car restraint, whether that's rear facing, forward-facing, booster, or seat belt for their age and size. From 2007-2011, more than 3,660 children 13 and under were killed in car crashes and it's estimated that more 1 in 3 of those kids were not restrained in their car seats. Roughly 634,000 kids were injured in crashes during that same time. By using the proper car seat and restraints, you can help reduce the chance of injury or death in children 1-4 by 54%.
Car Seat Tips from Julie Vallese, Safety 1st Consumer Safety Expert
Importance of Rear Facing: In March of 2011, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) advised that children should now remain rear facing until the age of 2 or until they reach the maximum height and weight requirements allowed by their car seat. According to a study from the Journal of Injury Prevention, children under the age of two are 75% less likely to die or be severely injured in the even of a crash if they are rear facing because their head, neck, and spine are better supported and in the even of an accident, crash forces are distributed over the child's entire body.
Installation: Around 75% of car seats are not installed correctly according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association. Every car seat has different requirements for safe installation. It's important to read the car seat and car manual before installing your child's car seat. Usually the center of the backseat is the safest spot. Never install a car seat in the front passenger seat. When installing, make sure the base of the car seat moves no more than an in from side to side. It's a great plan to have a safety expert double check your car seat installation, but remember, you or another caregiver needs to be comfortable with moving and re-installing the car seat if it's moved from car to car often.
Car Seat Expiration: Never use used or old car seats. There is an expiration date and it's important to understand the risks associated with using an expired or old car seat. Plastic can warp and materials can fray, which can make car seats less safe to use. Car seat technology, along with state and federal car seat regulation change as well. A car seat deemed safe 6 years ago, may no longer meet federal testing regulations. Important warning labels may wear out and instruction books can get lost, which can lead to improper car seat use.
I've teamed with Safety 1st to offer one of the amazing car seats below. Make sure you read over the description so you can choose the car seat that best fits your child's needs.
The Elite 80 works in rear-facing mode for babies up to 40 pounds, then converts to forward-facing with harness, but features an extended weight range to keep children safely in harness all the way to 80 pounds. In its 3rd mode, the Elite 80 goes beyond the traditional convertible seat to convert into a belt-positioning booster car seat for children up to 100 pounds. Additionally Air Protect + combines the advanced protection of our Air Protect® cushion system with patented GCell HX™ foam designed with hexagonal shapes for 100% full body production.
This convertible car seat was inspired by race car drivers. Air Protect+ combines Safety 1st Air Protect® Technology with GCell HX™ - hexagonal rebounding foam used in the body of the car seat to protect the child from the multiple hits that occur in crashes. Coupled with this is the placement of Air Protect® Technology which takes crash forces away from a child’s head. This technology was developed in partnership with racecar engineers at Bald Spot Sports and INDY Car Driver Scott Dixon to better understand the energy dynamics a high performance driver faces in the event of a crash.
My in-laws purchased on of Safety 1st's car seats featuring Air Protect + Technology, so I can tell you first hand how amazing it is. Now only do I feel my son is safe in the car seat, he has told me how comfortable it is and how safe he feels himself! Thanks for joining us for Child Passenger Week.Safety 1st BoostAPak Belt-Positioning Booster Car Seat. The BoostAPak is designed to help keep kids in boosters longer, as it’s often hard to get an older child to stay in his or her booster seat. This booster seat also doubles as a backpack! For children 4 to 7 years old, booster seats reduce injury risk by 59% compared to seat belts alone. (Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia). Additionally, the AAP recommends children ride in boosters until the age of 12 or 57 inches; but only 13% of children 54-56 inches tall ride on one (NHTSA).
You can connect with Safety 1st on their website
You can connect with Julie Vallese on her Facebook page
You can purchase any of the car seats above on the Safety 1st website.