In this video, Stephanie Tombrello, who is executive director at Safety Belt Safe USA, is here to explain how important it is for you to have the right safety seat for your child’s height and weight to keep them safe at all times. In the United States, it is illegal to transport any child under a certain height in a car without a special safety seat, sometimes called “child seats” or “baby seats.”
There are a number of safety tips that are essential for keeping any child safe in a car. So try out this scenario: you get a call from your coworker Sallie, whose son is about a year and a half older than yours, saying that he’s outgrown his seat, and would you like it for your boy? Or maybe your mother has saved the seat that she used when you were a baby and would love to give it to you for her first grandchild. How tempting is that? Car seats cost a lot of money, they need to be replaced as your children grow… it would seem to be anon-brainer to take one when offered!
The used version
Slow down a little. You need know a lot before you take a used seat. You may not know this, but it’s not just your kid who has a birth date you need to pay attention to: car safety seats have them too! The point is that older is definitely not better. In fact, it’s strongly recommended that you don’t use a sat that’s over six years old—so, sorry, Mom, that old one just won’t fly.
You need to know the date of manufacture of the seat. And, like a car, you need to know its history. Some seats were recalled for safety problems or violations, and if the prior owner didn’t properly register the seat, they might have been unaware that it could have been one of the ones recalled. Is that a problem you really want to inherit?
Finally about 90% of the people who use safety seats for their children make mistakes—usually inadvertently. What that means is that you can’t just take the word of the person who owns the seat about the right way to use it, and nobody keeps their instruction booklet!
Buy it new for less worry
In any case, it’s probably a good idea to get a new seat no matter what. Why? Because technology is always improving and there are lots of new features in the newer seats.
Finally, be careful about what thing you put in the car along with the car seat and its occupant. You may well strap your child in, but what about those groceries? Your older child’s sports equipment? The new TV you just bought on sale? They can all become missiles: there are instances of children killed because their car was hit and the television set flew through the car.
Observe standard safety rules. Never leave any child along in a locked or unlocked car. Never leave a pet in it, either. Make sure that you have child-resistant locks on your doors and windows. All of this will mean that you can travel in peace and security.