Several days ago a two year old was involved in a car accident that violently ejected them from their car seat. The driver of that vehicle was transporting two toddlers who were both said to be secure in car seats, but unfortunately one of those toddlers was not truly secure, and it was nothing short of a miracle that that child was not severely injured.
Motor vehicle crashes kill more children ages 14 and under than anything else, claiming nearly 1,800 lives and resulting in more than 274,000 injuries each year. The vast majority of those crashes occur within 25 miles of home, and more than half occur on roads with posted speed limits of 40 mph or less.
Many issues may be to blame for the ejection of the child from the car seat, but there is one in particular that you as a parent or guardian can handle yourself – the proper installation of a car seat.
Since 2001 the federal government has required that car seats come equipped with what is known as a LATCH.
A LATCH-compliant vehicle has metal "anchors," usually located on the seat back or rear bulkhead, to hold the safety seat’s upper tether. It also has lower "anchor points" in the seat crack — the place where cookie crumbs usually hide — to receive the metal LATCH connectors built into the lower part of car seats.
Make sure that your car seat comes equipped with this feature. If you are using a car seat older than 2001, you may not be providing your child with the protection they deserve.
Here are a couple of dos and don’ts that you should follow.
1. Do not place children in front seat
2. Read the manual
Finally if you simply cannot get the seat in right, your local fire or police department will more than likely assist you with the proper installation of your car seat.
For further information on car seat installation and ratings check out National Highway Traffic Safety Administration .