What you should and shouldn’t do when in­stalling a car seat Par­ent­ing pro tips

Kuwait Times - - BUSINESS -

Glob­ally, road traf­fic col­li­sions are the ninth lead­ing cause of death, killing al­most 1.25 mil­lion peo­ple each year-and for chil­dren, these num­bers are even higher. Ac­cord­ing to The World Health Or­ga­ni­za­tion (WHO), road traf­fic ac­ci­dents ac­counted for 21 per­cent of fatal­i­ties of those aged 0-19. But these tragedies can be eas­ily pre­vented: WHO states that child re­straints, when cor­rectly in­stalled and used, re­duce deaths among in­fants by ap­prox­i­mately 70 per­cent and deaths among small chil­dren by be­tween 54 per­cent and 80 per­cent.

Child re­straints have proven to re­duce the risk of death among in­fants by ap­prox­i­mately 70 per­cent, and deaths among small chil­dren by be­tween 54 and 80 per­cent. When in­stalled cor­rectly child re­straints have the abil­ity to re­duce in­jury or pre­vent death in the event of an au­to­mo­bile ac­ci­dent, but if they aren’t in­stalled prop­erly, their ef­fec­tive­ness can be re­duced. Even the most well-mean­ing par­ents can some­times have trou­ble in­stalling child seats cor­rectly, so Chevro­let has come up with this com­plete list of car seat dos and don’ts to help you keep your lit­tle ones safe.

DO choose the right seat for the child. Re­search dif­fer­ent types of seats and their age, height, and weight guide­lines, and keep track of the child’s growth in these as­pects to an­tic­i­pate when a new seat or seat mod­i­fi­ca­tion will be re­quired.

DON’T buy a sec­ond-hand car seat. There’s no way to know for sure if the seat has been in an ac­ci­dent, if it has miss­ing or out­dated parts, has been re­called, or if it has ex­pired (it is rec­om­mended to check the car seat ex­pi­ra­tion date). Sav­ing a bit of money on a used car seat isn’t worth the safety risk, so in­vest in a new one that you know will work well.

DO make sure to po­si­tion the car seat in the right di­rec­tion for your child’s age, weight and height: for­ward or back­ward. Gen­er­ally, rear-fac­ing child seats are more se­cure for ba­bies or un­til they’re too big to fit. How­ever, the la­bel on the seat will have spe­cific height- and weight-re­lated in­for­ma­tion about when to turn the car seat from rear-fac­ing to for­ward-fac­ing.

DON’T ever put a child re­straint in the front pas­sen­ger seat-even if it’s rear-fac­ing. Ac­cord­ing to WHO, best-prac­tice child re­straint laws re­strict chil­dren (un­der 13 years old) from sit­ting in the front seat at all, so putting an in­fant or tod­dler in the front seat is es­pe­cially risky. A pas­sen­ger seat airbag, while meant to pro­tect an adult from the im­pact of a col­li­sion, can se­ri­ously in­jure a small child.

In­struc­tion man­ual

DO thor­oughly read the in­struc­tion man­ual that comes with the car seat. Safety-belt at­tach­ments should be tight, the teth­ers should be at­tached cor­rectly based on the di­rec­tion the seat is fac­ing in a car that uses the LATCH sys­tem, and a brand- and car seat model-spe­cific pro­tec­tive mat should be placed un­der­neath the seat to pre­vent slip­page.

DON’T buckle the child in with bulky cloth­ing or out­er­wear. These items can pre­vent you from tightening the straps enough and can al­low a child to slip out of their car seat by wig­gling too much. If your child is cold, buckle them into their car seat and then lay their jacket or a blan­ket over them.

DO make sure to buckle the child in cor­rectly. They should be sit­ting with their back and bot­tom flat against the seat, the straps should be snug (with no more than a fin­ger’s width of slack), and the chest clip should be even with the child’s armpits. They should not be able to slip out of the har­ness or pull the straps far away from their body.

While only 53 coun­tries world­wide have best­prac­tice child re­straint laws as laid out by WHO, en­sur­ing a child’s safety by prop­erly in­stalling and us­ing a car seat should be a pri­or­ity. In­vest the time and en­ergy into find­ing the right seat, in­stalling it well, and buck­ling the child in cor­rectly, and in turn, in­vest in pro­tect­ing the child dur­ing an ac­ci­dent.

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