Keep kids safe in the car this sum­mer

The Oban Times - - Sum­mer Mo­tor­ing -

Bar­be­cues, fire­works, s’mores and road trips – they’re sum­mer clas­sics. They rarely change be­cause when you know some­thing works, you stick with it. You know what else stands the test of time? Car seat safety tips. How­ever, a stag­ger­ing three out of four car seats

1. Al­ways use the ‘Inch Test’ and the ‘Pinch Test’. Pinch the car seat strap near the child’s shoul­der; if you can pinch a wrin­kle in the fab­ric, tighten the strap un­til it is snug. For the ‘Inch Test’, grab the car seat from the back and bottom and tug from side to side and front to back. If the seat moves more than an inch in ei­ther di­rec­tion, tighten it.

2. Never add tow­els or ex­tra lay­ers be­tween the seat and your child. Car seats can get hot in sum­mer weather, but don’t pile up tow­els in your child’s seat to keep them cool. Ex­tra ma­te­rial could in­ter­fere with the seat’s abil­ity to re­strain the child in the event of a crash, so it is im­por­tant only to use ac­ces­sories and prod­ucts specif­i­cally approved for use by the seat’s man­u­fac­turer.

3. Take time to cool off; then buckle up. If the car seat is hot be­cause of high sum­mer tem­per­a­tures, take some ex­tra time to cool the car down be­fore plac­ing your child in the seat. Test buckles to en­sure they are not hot, and if they are, open the win­dows or turn on the air con­di­tioner be­fore buck­ling chil­dren in. Never leave chil­dren alone in the car, es­pe­cially in the sum­mer, when tem­per­a­tures can es­ca­late dan­ger­ously in a mat­ter of min­utes. are in­cor­rectly in­stalled. This is so alarm­ing be­cause mo­tor ve­hi­cle crashes are one of the lead­ing causes of death among chil­dren. The good news is that a prop­erly in­stalled car seat can help dra­mat­i­cally re­duce in­jury and pre­vent death. So we are shar­ing the fol­low­ing tips, just in time for the busy sum­mer road trip sea­son.

4. Don’t rent a car seat. If you are rent­ing a car this sum­mer, use your own car seat. When you rent a seat, you don’t know im­por­tant facts about its his­tory that could af­fect its abil­ity to pro­tect your child (eg, ex­pi­ra­tion date, crash his­tory). The good news is that most air­lines al­low you to check your car seat for free.

5. Se­cure loose items in the car. Make sure all loose items – in­clud­ing sum­mer travel es­sen­tials such as beach chairs, cool­ers, um­brel­las and suit­cases – are tightly se­cured in your ve­hi­cle. Th­ese ob­jects could be­come pro­jec­tiles in the event of a crash.

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