Car Seat Basics & Tips for Child Safety
Kids are precious cargo and West Chevrolet would like to share some general tips on how to keep your kids safe on the road. Common sense dictates children should ride secured in a car seat while in the vehicle. However, navigating the landscape of car seats and installation can be daunting. Good news, there are several online and local resources to help parents understand the do's and don'ts of car seats.
CarSafety.org is an excellent online resource to start with and offers a car seat buying guide in addition to many other tips and articles.
Parent Central has an interactive car seat selector to help you decide on the right car seat by child's age and size.
Once you've decided on the right car seat, have your car seat inspected by National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA) . Certified technicians will inspect your child car seat, in most cases, free of charge - and show you how to correctly install and use it. Use the
Child Car Seat Inspection Station Locator to find a station near you.
General Tips from SaferCar.Gov
• Select a car seat based on your child's age and size, and choose a seat that fits in your vehicle and use it every time.
• Always refer to your specific car seat manufacturer's instructions (check height and weight limits) and read the vehicle owner's manual on how to install the car seat using the seat belt or lower anchors and a tether, if available.
• To maximize safety, keep your child in the car seat for as long as possible, as long as the child fits within the manufacturer's height and weight requirements.
• Keep your child in the back seat at least through age 12. Kids 12 and under should ALWAYS ride in the back seat. This cuts their risk of death by 36%.
• Kids should be in a carseat or booster until they can be seated properly in a seatbelt. For most kids, this is around 8-12 years old or 4' 9" tall, but proper seatbelt fit is the most important factor.
• Never place a rear-facing carseat in the front seat when there is an active frontal airbag.
• Keep your baby rear-facing as long as possible. That can mean up to 35 or 40 pounds in most current convertible seats, unless they outgrow it by height first.
• Make sure that the harness fits snugly on your child, the carseat fits snugly in your vehicle, and that your vehicle seatbelts are locked properly.
• When you buy a carseat, make sure you have a good return policy in case it doesn't fit or in case you find you don't like it. Have your seat inspected by a certified technician for free at a checkup event or fitting station.
• Please be wary of used carseats, especially those over six years old, those with an unknown history that may have been in a crash, those that show any form of cracks or damage, and those with missing labels, model number, manufacturing date, instructions or parts.
• Please give driving your complete, unimpaired attention and wear your own seatbelt all the time. These two simple steps are among these easiest ways you can protect yourself and your passengers from injury or death.