Four Quick References For Installing Your Child’s Safety Seat
The Seneca Fire Department has eight certified child passenger safety seat technicians certified through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. We would be more than happy to help you install or inspect a child passenger seat with no appointment. We ask that you call before you come by to make sure that we are not on an emergency call.
Child Car Seat Safety
One simple item that could help save countless children is a car safety seat.
But did you know that 4 out of every 5 child car seats is installed incorrectly?!
Another disturbing fact comes from a recent study by the SAFE KIDS organization: one third of children are riding in the wrong restraints for their age and size.
Here are some questions to ask yourself about the safety of your child when it comes to riding in a vehicle:
Does your child ride in the back seat? The back seat is generally the safest place in a crash. If your vehicle has a passenger air bag, it is essential for children 12 and under to ride in back.
Does your child ride facing the right way? Infants should ride in rear facing restraints (in the back seat) until age 1 and at least 20-22 lbs. Infants who weigh 20 lbs. before 1 year of age should ride in a restraint approved for higher rear facing weights. Always read your child restraint manual for instructions on properly using the restraint. Children over age one and at least 20 pounds may ride facing forward.
Does the safety belt hold the seat tightly in place? Put the belt through the correct slots. If your safety seat can be used facing either way, use the correct belt path for each direction. Check the vehicle owner's manual and safety seat instruction book for guidance.
Is the harness buckled snugly around your child? Keep harness straps snug over the child's shoulders. Place the chest clip at armpit level.
Does your child over 40 pounds have the best protection possible? Keep your child in a safety seat with a full harness as long as possible, at least until 40 pounds. Then use a belt-positioning booster seat which helps the adult lap and shoulder belt fit better. A belt-positioning booster seat is preferred for children between 40-80 pounds. It is used with the adult lap and shoulder belt.
How should a safety belt fit an older child? The child should be tall enough to sit without slouching, with knees bent at the edge of the seat, with feet on the floor. The lap belt must fit low and tight across the upper thighs. The shoulder belt should rest over the shoulder and across the chest. Never put the shoulder belt under the arm or behind the child's back. The adult lap and shoulder belt system alone will not fit most children until they are at least 4'9" tall and weigh about 80 pounds.
If you or you know someone who needs a child passenger safety seat installed or have questions about a seat, feel free to call the Seneca Fire Department at (864) 885-2738 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. One of our car seat technicians would be glad to assist you.