As a parent, keeping your child safe from harm is a top concern, and it’s particularly important when they’re inside a moving vehicle. In honor of Child Passenger Safety Week, September 18 to 24, remember these basic guidelines to help keep your kids safe on the road.
Use the right car seat or booster for your child based on their age, weight and height. There are three main types: rear-facing car seats for infants and toddlers, forward-facing car seats for toddlers and preschoolers, and booster seats for children ages 8 to 12 years. Once the vehicle’s seat belt fits your child properly, it should be worn at all times.
Always keep kids 12 and younger in the back seat. The powerful force of an air bag deploying can cause serious injury and may even be fatal for children.
Buy your car seats new or from a trusted source. If you can’t verify a car seat’s full past, including the expiration date and accident history, don’t get it.
Get your car seat inspected by a professional. Improper use or installation of a car seat can put your child’s safety at risk, and it’s more common than you might think.
Set a good example for your children. Always keep your own seat belt safely fastened.
In addition to these guidelines, all 50 states have child safety seat laws with different requirements and penalties. Make sure you’re following your state’s laws and keeping your child as safe and secure as possible when riding in the car.