Car Seats Save Children

Car Seats Save Children

 

Most likely, nobody in our community would knowingly put a child at risk of serious injury or death. But that is exactly what happens when children are not properly restrained in a vehicle. Car seats, booster seats, and seat belts save lives. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, approximately 7,000 young lives have been saved by the proper use of child restraints during the past 20 years.

In Minnesota, three out of four child seats are used incorrectly, and many parents aren’t aware of the restraint steps a child should progress through as they age and grow. A vehicle is the most dangerous place for children— and crashes are the leading killer of children under age 14.

Common Child Passenger Safety Mistakes

  • Turning a child from a rear-facing restraint to a forward-facing restraint too soon. American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) now recommends keeping children rear-facing until 2 years old if possible.
  • Restraint is not secured tight enough — it should not shift more than one inch side-to-side or out from the seat.
  • Harness on the child is not tight enough — if you can pinch harness material, it’s too loose.
  • Retainer clip is up too high or too low — should be at the child’s armpit level.
  • The child is in the wrong restraint — don’t rush your child into a seat belt.

Booster Seats Are the Law in Minnesota

Booster seats lift a child up to help adult seat belts fit children properly. Children must start riding in a booster upon outgrowing a forward-facing harness restraint (typically after turning age 4 and 40–60 pounds). It is safest for children to remain in a booster until they are 4 feet 9 inches tall, or at least age 8.

Learn more about Minnesota’s child passenger safety law, which requires a child who is both under age 8 and shorter than 4 feet 9 inches to be fastened in a child safety seat or booster by visiting: https://dps.mn.gov/divisions/ots/laws/Pages/child-passenger-safety.aspx

Have Your Car Seat Checked

Child restraints work best when they are used correctly. Hundreds of Car Seat Clinics are held annually across Minnesota to teach caregivers how to properly install their car seats. The average car seat misuse rate is approximately 80 percent. This means that when the car seats are checked at clinics, most people have installed their seat incorrectly or have the child improperly buckled in. Many times, caregivers are completely unaware that their child is riding unsafely. Nobody wants to put their child at risk of serious injury or death. Car seats and booster seats do save lives. For more information on area Car Seat Clinics, please contact Cindy at Ringdahl Ambulance to schedule an appointment at (218) 736-2819

 

Otter Tail County Safe Communities Coalition Partner:

Cameron Dean NRP, CMPA

Ringdahl Ambulance

214 E. Junius Ave.

Fergus Falls, MN 56537

(218) 736-2819

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