Did you know that over half of child safety seats are not installed properly? Unfortunately, car crashes are one of the leading causes of death for children. Correctly used safety restraints for little ones can drastically reduce the likelihood of serious injury or death during a traffic accident by 71%.
Child Passenger Safety Awareness Week highlights the importance of ensuring that all children are properly secured in an appropriate car seat or seatbelt. A child’s age, weight, height and development are all factors to consider when determining proper safety harnesses. It is also important to consider what type of vehicle the car seat will go in to ensure that it will fit securely.
Here are some tips to check if your child is in an appropriate car seat:
Always read the labels on car seats and boosters to check the height and weight limits. Once your child outgrows the limits, get a new one that fits! Make sure the car seat has not surpassed its expiration date. Choose the right direction: For the best protection, keep your baby in a rear-facing car seat for as long as possible — at least until they are two years old.
- How do I know if my child’s car seat is installed properly?
- Always read the instructions provided with the car seat.
- Do the 1-inch Test: Once the car seat is installed, give it a good tug at the base where the seatbelt goes through it. Does it move more than one-inch side to side or front to back? A properly installed seat will not move more than an inch.
- Pinch Test: Make sure the harness is tightly buckled and coming from the correct slots. With the car seat chest clip placed at armpit level, pinch the strap at your child’s shoulder. If you are unable to pinch any excess webbing, you’re good to go.
- How do I know when to move my child into a booster seat?
- Does your child exceed the car seat’s height and weight limits?
- Are your child’s shoulders above the car seat’s top harness slots?
- Are the tops of your child’s ears above the top of the car seat?
- Booster seats are an essential step between car seats and seat belts, rushing children out of booster seats is one of the leading causes of injuries during traffic accidents.
Remember, all children should remain in the backseat of a vehicle until they are at least 13 years old and fit properly in the front seat belts. Also, remember to set a good example for your children by always wearing your seatbelt.
Still not sure if the car seat fits your child correctly? Or are you unsure if you have installed the car seat perfectly? We’re here to help!
Every single Arvada Fire station has a Child Passenger Safety Technician available to serve the public. Our technicians provide instruction and education on the proper use and installation of car seats.
For a free car inspection, drop-ins are encouraged between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. at any station or Headquarters. Crews may be unavailable when conducting their duties, like responding to calls. To call ahead about station availability, please call 303-424-3012.
We also have a car seat drop-off at Arvada Fire Headquarters at 7903 Allison Way. When your little ones outgrow their car seats or booster seats, drop the seat off at the PODS container located in the northwest corner of the parking lot to help recycle and ensure that only safe car seats are on the road.