We know that many of our patients will be traveling over this holiday season and wanted to give you a reminder to check your restraint systems in your car. (article provided by Dr Lynch)
First--REMEMBER, that children under 13 should ride in a rear vehicle seat. A child in front is 40% more likely to be injured, whether they are air bags, advanced air bags or no air bags. Never place a child in a rear-facing seat near an active frontal air bag! Here are four common misuses of restraints:
Face the Front: Children should ride in the front-facing child seats with harness until they reach the height or weight limits of the harnesses. All models can be used up to 40 pounds, but many newer harness designs can be used until children weigh 50, 65 or more pounds. Front-Facing harness spread force over wide areas of small bodies.
Face the Rear: Children should ride in the rear-facing child seat until they reach the height or weight limits of rear-facing convertible seats--research shows that children are five times safer facing the rear until they are two years old. Rear-facing child seats provide the best protection for the head, neck and spinal cord.
Booster Seats: Children should ride in booster seats used with lap and shoulder belts, until the seat belts alone fit correctly. Depending on the child and the specific vehicle, this usually occurs between 8 and 11. The lap belt should fit flat across a child's upper thighs (NOT across the soft abdomen) and the shoulder belt should cross snugly over the middle of a child's shoulder (NOT over the neck, or, behind the back). Booster seats help belts stay on strong body parts that don't injure easily.
Seat Belt: Seat belts are designed and crash tested to fit a person at 4 feet 9 inches. Seat belts fit if a child can sit all the way back with knees bent naturally over the seat edge. While sitting all the way back against the vehicle seat, the lap belt should fit flat across a child's upper thighs (NOT across the soft abdomen) and the shoulder belt across snugly over the middle of a child's shoulder (NOT over the neck, or, behind the back.) This belt placement must stay consistent throughout the ride. Seat belts distribute force and keep people in protected space.
We know this can be confusing but there is a great link that gives more information plus several different places to go get your child seats check. www.intermountainhealthcare.org/hospitals/primarychildrens/childhealth/parenting/carseats/pages/home.aspx
For MORE information or to schedule a FREE CAR SEAT INSPECTION call: 801-662-2277(CARS) A service of Primary Children's Medical Center. http://www.primarychildrens.org/