Sunday, September 16, 2012

Child Passenger Safety Week

The week of September 16 through 22 is Child Passenger Safety week. This is a great time for parents to brush up on the safest ways of getting their little ones around. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has a recently launched a new website called Parents Central, which has great information about transportation safety. From how to correctly secure your child in his car seat, to school bus and bike safety, this site is a must-read if you have little ones (or big ones)!

Did you know that there are different requirements on how to restrain your baby depending on the type of car seat you use? Shoulder straps on rear-facing car seas must be positioned at or BELOW the child's shoulders, while straps on forward-facing seats must be positioned at or ABOVE the child's shoulders.

Do you ever buckle your child into her seat while she is wearing a winter coat? According to the NHTSA, you should never put your child in bulky clothing in the car seat, but rather place a blanket or coat on top of the buckle once your child is properly secured.

Another common mistake is not placing the chest clip at the right height. The chest clip should be in line with child's armpits. When properly secured, you should not be able to 'pinch any extra material at the child's shoulders.'

The NHTSA has partnered with Chuggington to provide a Traffic Safety Program for you to use with your child. Complete with tips and activities, this program is a great tool for staying safe when riding in a car, bus, on a bike, or walking!

Be sure to check your instruction manuals and use safety belts on your strollers too!

Have you ever seen a baby or child that wasn't correctly buckled into his or her car seat? What do you think when you see children riding in cars without using a car seat or seat belt?

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