What You Should Know About Child Passenger Safety in Your Vehicle
Whether it’s for your daily drive to school, swim-class or a more extended road trip, the most important aspect when it comes to driving with children in the car is safety. No matter the vehicle, it’s essential to understand some general guidelines to ensure the safety of any child passenger.
In this blog, we’ve outlined some general car seat and seatbelt safety guidelines; however, we strongly recommend double-checking your local and state laws, as well as CDC guidelines, to ensure you’re aware of all safety requirements for young passengers.
General Tips for Car Seat Safety
Birth to 12 Months
If your child is under one year old, they should always ride in a rear-facing car seat in the back of the vehicle. Additionally, any transition should never be rushed. In fact, as you’ll see, it is critical to keep your child in their current seat for as long as possible.
1 to 3 Years
It is essential to keep your child in a rear-facing vehicle seat for as long as possible. This helps ensure your child is safe whenever your vehicle is on the road. In general, it’s recommended that they stay in this seat until they reach the top height or weight limit allowed by the car seat’s manufacturer. Once your child has outgrown their rear-facing seat, they are able to travel in a forward-facing car seat with a harness and tether.
4 to 7 Years
In general, it’s recommended that you keep your child in a forward-facing car seat with a harness and tether until he or she reaches the car seat’s height and weight limit. Once they outgrow this seat, they can transfer to a booster seat in the back seat.
8 to 12 Years
Once your child has transitioned to a booster seat, it is recommended that you keep your child in that seat until they are big enough to fit in a seat belt comfortably. For a child to fit properly, the lap belt must lie snugly across their upper thighs, not their stomach, while the shoulder belt should lie across their shoulder and chest. The seat belt should never cross your child’s neck or face.
You can see the CDC’s full set of guidelines regarding children’s safety in motor vehicles by clicking here.
How should I Wear my Seat Belt?
Always wear your shoulder belt. This should be away from your neck, but not off your shoulder. The shoulder belt should be across your chest. Be sure to remove any slack. Your shoulder belt should never be placed behind your arm or back.
Always wear your lap belt. Your lap belt should be placed under your belly, so it fits snugly across your hips and pelvic bones. It should never be placed over or on top of your stomach.
How Should I Adjust my Seat?
Always make seat adjustments as needed. In general, you should remember to adjust the seat to a comfortable, upright position. It’s also important to remember to keep as much distance as possible between your belly and steering wheel. If extra room is needed, consider adjusting the steering wheel or opting for another driver. You should always be able to reach the steering wheel and pedals comfortably.
When you’re a passenger, it is generally recommended to move your seat as far back as possible to give room between your belly and the dashboard.
Christian Brothers Automotive Safety Services
No matter the vehicle you drive, whether it’s a car, truck, jeep, crossover or SUV, it’s crucial to get the routine maintenance your vehicle needs to ensure the safety of you and your passengers year-round. At Christian Brothers Automotive, we offer a no-obligation coutesy inspection when you visit one of our 220+ shops around the nation. These complimentary courtesy inspections are designed to access your vehicle’s major operating systems to give you peace-of-mind over the health and safety of your vehicle.
What’s more is that many costly or extensive engine problems begin as a result of inconsistent or non-existent preventative maintenance. The simple visual checks that our certified technicians perform during an inspection can help to identify any minor problems before they become an expensive repair job.
At Christian Brothers Automotive, we’re here to help you navigate through the complexities of auto repair and maintenance. We’re here for you first. And your car a close second. Because we believe what’s behind the wheel is a lot more important than what’s under the hood.
Click here to find your closest Christian Brothers Automotive shop to schedule your free vehicle inspection!