Is your child’s car seat installed in your car correctly? If you’re not sure, a certified child passenger safety technician will check it for you – free of charge – from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 8, at Seton Medical Center Hays in Kyle.
To minimize wait times, appointments can be scheduled by calling 512-336-3423.
Inspectors will ensure that seat belts are properly strapping down the car seat and that seat harnesses are being used properly. They also can help you determine if your child’s car seat has been subject any recent manufacturer recalls.
Parents are asked to bring the car seat instruction booklet and vehicle owner’s manual with them, if possible, in case technicians find anything unusual that should be addressed.
Some guideline when it comes to child car seats:
- The most common mistake people make when installing a safety seat is not getting a tight fit. To correct this problem, use one hand to press down the child safety seat while you use your other hand to pull on the safety belts or lower anchor straps that hold it in place.
- If a safety seat is more than 6 years old or has been involved in a vehicle collision, replace it according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- There are two ways to install safety seats in a vehicle—with either a vehicle’s safety belts or the LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tether for Children) system. The LATCH system has metal anchors in the vehicle (where the seat cushion meets the seat back) and top tether anchors. Attach connectors to metal anchors, and connect tether straps to tether anchors.
- Rear-facing child safety seats should be used in the back seat for as long as possible, up to the height and weight limits of each particular seat. At a minimum, keep infants rear-facing until 1 year of age and until they weigh at least 20 pounds.
- Forward-facing car seats should be used in the back seat of the vehicle until they reach the limits specified by the manufacturer. Usually, this is around age 4 and a weight of at least 40 pounds.
- Booster seats also should be used in the back seat until children are 8 years old or grow to be 4 feet, 9 inches tall.
- Children should ride buckled up in the back seat until they are 13 years old.
- Never leave a child unattended in a vehicle, even for a short period of time.
Seton Hays is located at 6001 Kyle Parkway. For more information, contact Linda Sifuentes at Seton Hays at 512-324-5000, ext. 54298.
Please consider updating your guidelines/recommendations to the American Academy of Pediatrics published policy statement:
Child passenger safety has dramatically evolved over the past decade; however, motor vehicle crashes continue to be the leading cause of death of children 4 years and older. This policy statement provides 4 evidence-based recommendations for best practices in the choice of a child restraint system to optimize safety in passenger vehicles for children from birth through adolescence: (1) rear-facing car safety seats for most infants up to 2 years of age; (2) forward-facing car safety seats for most children through 4 years of age; (3) belt-positioning booster seats for most children through 8 years of age; and (4) lap-and-shoulder seat belts for all who have outgrown booster seats. In addition, a fifth evidence-based recommendation is for all children younger than 13 years to ride in the rear seats of vehicles. It is important to note that every transition is associated with some decrease in protection; therefore, parents should be encouraged to delay these transitions for as long as possible. These recommendations are presented in the form of an algorithm that is intended to facilitate implementation of the recommendations by pediatricians to their patients and families and should cover most situations that pediatricians will encounter in practice. The American Academy of Pediatrics urges all pediatricians to know and promote these recommendations as part of child passenger safety anticipatory guidance at every health-supervision visit.