Child passenger safety: What your family needs to know

Baby Boy in Car Seat and Parent Buckling him up

When it comes to child safety in an automobile, it’s all about the car seat. Proper car seat selection and use are crucial to the safety and well-being of your children when they are riding in a vehicle.

The Car Seat

Keeping your child in the proper size and design of car seat is an ongoing but necessary process. They will progress through a series of styles and sizes as they grow from infants to toddlers and on until they are full size. Rear-facing car seats, forward-facing car seats, child booster seats and finally direct seat belts should be a part of their lives every time they enter a vehicle. Each type is designed for the ultimate safety and protection of your child at the various stages of their growth.

Proper Car Seat Use

Having the correct car seat for your child’s safety is only half the equation. If the seat is not used properly, it cannot fully protect your child. Each car seat comes with specific instructions on how to attach it to the car, and how to correctly strap the child into the seat. Every belt, snap and strap has a distinct purpose, and to choose to leave one out or forget to connect one can be a fatal mistake. Study your car seat documentation carefully to assure you are using every feature properly.

Child Passenger Safety Week

Child passenger safety week is September 23-29, 2018, and finishes with National Seat Check Saturday on September 29th. Many communities will be hosting car seat safety events, and will have Certified Child Passenger Seat Safety Technicians available to instruct parents and other caregivers on the proper selection and handling of child restraint car seats. Check with your local government and civic organizations for schedules, and plan to attend one of these potentially lifesaving events. Here are some upcoming events for Massachusetts: