So the other day I put up a blog about Farrah Abraham’s boyfriend texting while driving. Then I noticed that her 4 year old daughter was in a booster seat incorrectly! This is astonishing especially because the father of her daughter Sophia, Derek Underwood, died in a car accident before she was even born.
Car accidents are just that — accidents. We can’t predict them nor can we always control them. Motor vehicle accidents are one of the leading causes of death of children. Many times it’s because the child wasn’t secured in the seat properly or using a seat that wasn’t best suited for them. Putting your child into the next seat too soon is dangerous. A child should rear face as long as possible. A child should be in a forward facing seat for as long as possible. Then to a booster, which they should be secured in as long as possible. There are rules in place for a reason and it has to do with the weight and size as well as age of the child. Their bodies are still growing, still getting stronger, so a car accident and its impact has a much greater effect on a child’s body than an adult’s.
Check out our online class for more safety tips for kids in cars!
The NHTSA guidelines read:
Birth – 12 Months
Your child under age 1 should always ride in a rear-facing car seat. There are different types of rear-facing car seats: Infant-only seats can only be used rear-facing. Convertible and 3-in-1 car seats typically have higher height and weight limits for the rear-facing position, allowing you to keep your child rear-facing for a longer period of time.
1 – 3 Years
Keep your child rear-facing as long as possible. It’s the best way to keep him or her safe. Your child should remain in a rear-facing car seat until he or she reaches the top height or weight limit allowed by your car seat’s manufacturer. Once your child outgrows the rear-facing car seat, you should look into purchasing one with a higher weight limit.
4 – 7 Years
Keep your child in a forward-facing car seat with a harness until he or she reaches the top height or weight limit allowed by your car seat’s manufacturer. Once your child outgrows the forward-facing car seat with a harness, it’s time to travel in a booster seat, but still in the back seat.
8 – 12 Years
Keep your child in a booster seat until he or she is big enough to fit in a seat belt properly. For a seat belt to fit properly the lap belt must lie snugly across the upper thighs, not the stomach. The shoulder belt should lie snug across the shoulder and chest and not cross the neck or face. (NOTE IN THE PICTURE THAT IT IS NOT PROPERLY PLACED!) Remember: your child should still ride in the back seat because it’s safer there.
So PLEASE keep your child in the safest place in the car! As always DRIVE SAFE!