But what about when it comes to installing your child’s car seat? Did you know – 1 in 3 American children ride unrestrained and only 2 out of 9 children are in the right car seat. The biggest threat to a child’s health is not from food or the environment— it’s a car accident. And although a car seat is the best way to protect a child from injury, a staggering 75% of car seats are not properly installed and when they are properly installed, the correct car seat reduces infants and toddlers chances for fatal injury by as much as 71%.
Installing a car seat is not an easy task. This is where Buckle Up For Life, the national child passenger safety program from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and Toyota comes in handy. They have released this list of must-know tips keeping your kids safe for summer travel.
Pinch the car seat strap near the child’s shoulder; if you can pinch a wrinkle in the fabric, tighten the strap until it is snug. For the “Inch Test,” grab the car seat from the back and bottom and tug from side to side and front to back. If the seat moves more than an inch in either direction, tighten it.
Car seats can get hot in summer weather but don’t be tempted to pile up towels in your child’s seat to keep them cool. Extra material could interfere with the seat’s ability to restrain the child in the event of a crash, so it is important to only use accessories and products specifically approved for use by the seat’s manufacturer.
If you are thinking about renting a car this summer. Don’t. You should always use your own car seat. When you rent a seat you don’t know important facts about its history that could affect its ability to protect your child. Did you know – Most airlines allow you to check your car seat for free.
Make sure all loose items – particularly summer travel essentials such as coolers, umbrellas and suitcases – are tightly secured in your vehicle. These objects could become projectiles in the event of a crash.
Summer is a wonderful time to travel with your family and build memories that will last a lifetime, but it’s important that parents and caregivers do all they can to make sure their littlest passengers are protected.
Now that you know the how-to’s to ensure your little ones car seats are installed correctly, it’s time to start planning that road trip!