Car Seat Safety Week 2021

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English is the controlling language of this page. To the extent there is any conflict between the English text and the translation, English controls.

Clicking on the translation link activates a free translation service to convert the page to Spanish. As with any Internet translation, the conversion is not context-sensitive and may not translate the text to its original meaning. NC State Extension does not guarantee the accuracy of the translated text. Please note that some applications and/or services may not function as expected when translated.

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Young girl in a car seat installed correctly

A young Welcome Baby superstar ready to go in her adjusted, correctly installed car seat!

Did you know that according to the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety, 884 children, under the age of 13 died as a result of being improperly restrained in a car in 2019? The sad truth is that the majority of car seats (up to 75%) are installed incorrectly or caretakers are using the wrong seat for their child. This situation can be taken care of with just a little bit of car seat education.

The first step  is to be sure that you have the right seat for your child. The importance of being sure your child is in the correct seat cannot be stressed enough. Too often parents use the wrong benchmarks to decide when to move their child to the next phase of car seat. While laws will dictate some form of regulation in regards to car seat use there is often a better practice to protect your child. For instance, the state law may say that you can turn your child forward facing at the age of 1 and 20 pounds. While this may be the law it is not the best practice. The best practice is to keep your child rear facing as long as possible according to the rear-facing weight limit of the car seat you are using. Turning your child’s car seat forward facing when they are too young can cause damage to their spine and their head among other things. Another example, most booster seats will say that they are ok for use with children 30 pounds to 100 pounds. Does that mean you can put your 3 year old, who weighs 30 pounds in this booster seat? I mean it meets the weight requirement right? No your child needs to be in a forward facing car seat with a harness until the weight limit of that harness has been reached. A booster seat is best when used for a child who is 5 years old and older, if they meet the weight requirement and have the emotional maturity to sit in a booster seat and not unbuckle the seat belt.

While you may be thinking to yourself “I am never going to be able to figure this out!”  just know the car seat technicians of Welcome Baby would be glad to help you. If you have any questions in regards to car seat installation, what kind of car seat you should use, or if your child can transition to the next stage seat just give Welcome Baby a call at (919) 560-7150 or call our lead car seat technician Alfonso Blanco directly at (919) 560-0530. The car seat technicians of Welcome Baby will help you navigate these waters and keep your child safe.

Welcome Baby is a program of Durham County Co-Operative Extension.