An entanglement hazard can be posed by seatbelts in the vicinity of children. A child might grab the seatbelt and wrap it around his or her head, neck, or waist, and if a parent isn’t around to prevent this, tragedy could strike. The NHTSA wants to make sure the number of injury incidents are reduced and is thus offering safety tips to parents.
The first thing parents should realize is how the locking mechanisms on seatbelts work. Once you pull the seatbelt out as far as it can go, it will lock up. This feature is in place so that child safety seats can be placed in the vehicle properly. If proper installation doesn’t occur, though, the kid can grab the belt and catastrophe can ensue.
Don’t let that happen to you. Always install your child’s safety seat in accordance with guidelines mandated by the manufacturer. If your particular unit uses a LATCH system, you need to take extra precautions, as kids in this particular type of safety seat will likely still be able to reach unused safety belts. Eliminate the threat by buckling every unused belt. Pull them all the way out then feed the unused portion of the belt back into its place.
And of course, speak to your children about how dangerous playing with seatbelts or in and around automobiles can be.