This week is National Child Passenger Safety Week, and numerous agencies throughout the country are doing what they can to spread awareness about the week’s importance. One such entity is the Chicago branch of AAA, which has come out with a list of some important car seat mistakes that parents must strive to correct in order to boost safety.
Many of the mistakes hinge on the time at which a parent transitions a child from one seat to another. Too many parents mistakenly make this switch too early. First, a child should be at least two before a parent allows them to sit facing forward. Once a child gets to their booster seat, they need to sit in that type of seat until the seat belt fits, which will likely be somewhere from 8 to 12. A child should still sit in the backseat until they’re 13.
Installation problems are yet another concern. The seat needs to be set to the point where it doesn’t jostle around at all when you try to shift it. Similarly, the harnesses that keep a child in place ought to be securely fastened. Retainer clips should rest at the level of the child’s armpit, and the top tether should be used where applicable to further restrict movement during a crash.
Finally, eliminate barriers to safety, such as things like toys and mirrors being attached to the seat or heavy objects or even pets being placed in the backseat with the child.