One of the first things new parents buy when hearing that they are expecting is a car seat. These seats cushion and protect infants and young children during a car ride and provide injury protection in an accident.
As children grow taller and bigger, the types of car seats available also change. Although the CDC states that using a car seat improves child passenger safety by as much as 82%, an improperly installed car seat or one that is not the right size will not help.
Causes of child passenger injuries
There are several variables that impact how safe a child is during a car accident, even when the child uses a car seat. In many cases, car seats and booster seats are not properly installed. The slightest bump could jar the seat, as could a sudden stop on the road. Another reason for injury is failing to properly restrain a child in the right car seat. The manufacturer’s instructions clearly state what size child should use the seat and how to tighten and secure the straps. The wrong size seat, loose harnesses or improperly fitted belts put a child at risk for an injury.
Reasons to change the car seat
As your child ages, you will want to ensure that he or she uses the right size car seat. If the car seat was in an accident or if a recall exists for your product, the recommendation is to purchase a new seat.
Ignoring the details on your child’s car seat could lead to an increased risk of injury. Check with a pediatrician for assistance in installing or choosing a car seat.