Baby on board: Car seat safety and other useful tips

Car safety for can mean life or death for babies. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), motor vehicle injuries are a leading cause of death among children in the United States. In 2015, 663 children ages 12 and under died due to motor vehicle crashes and more than 121,350 were injured in 2014. Of the children who died in crashes in 2015, 35 percent were not buckled up.

Between 2012-2014 there were 47 non-fatal motor vehicle-related injuries sustained by children one to five years old in Duval County alone, which was the fourth highest in the state of Florida.

Motor vehicle deaths and injuries among children tend to increase during the summer months because more drivers are on the road. But these deaths and injuries can be prevented by buckling children up in their respective car seat, booster chair or seat belts and using them correctly. Car seat usage reduces the risk of death to infants by 71 percent, according to the CDC.  Booster seats, when used correctly, can reduce the risk of injury by 45 percent children aged four to eight years old.bob

Car seats should also be registered in case of a recall on the car seat. Car seats can be registered by visiting Parents Central.

For best protection, the following guidelines should be followed.

  • Birth up to age two, or until the weight and height limits are reached: Children should be buckled in a rear-facing seat
  • Age two up to age five, or until the weight and height limits are reached: Children should be buckled in a forward-facing car seat
  • Age five until seat belt properly fits: Children should be buckled into a booster seat
  • Once the seat belt fits properly: Seat belts fit properly when the lap belt lays across the upper thighs and the shoulder belt lays across the chest.

To ensure that children are safe in their car seats, it is recommended that parents/caregivers schedule an appointment for a free car-seat inspection.

For more information:

AAP Recommendations

Florida Car Seat Law