Children's Car Safety: Is Your Little One Buckled Up Right? - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Jonesboro -- Heather Flanigan

Children's Car Safety: Is Your Little One Buckled Up Right?

July 16, 2004 – Posted at 3:07 p.m. CDT


JONESBORO -- Federal statistics show that more children die in car crashes than from any other cause.  But many times it's not reckless driving, it's reckless parenting.


Nearly 3,000 children ages 15 and younger are killed in car accidents every year, and more than 60% of those were not restrained when the accident happened.


Robert Sinclair of American Automobile Association said, “Children are particularly susceptible in car crashes because they leave it up to their parents to restrain them.”


Daniel Frank is a Child Safety Technician.  He says most parents don’t install the child seats right.


“One of the biggest problems is that the child safety seats are not used properly, even when they are installed in the vehicle properly, the kids are not placed in the car seats properly themselves,” said Frank.


Most car accidents happen within 25 miles of the driver's home -- where most of us feel the safest.


“Parents believe that because their vehicles have advanced safety systems that they need not use their seat belt, but it's very important for parents and children to realize that a seat belt is the most important thing that you can do to protect yourself when you're riding in an automobile,” said Sinclair.


Making sure your little one is strapped in correctly can be the difference in life or death in an accident.


“If they are strapped in properly, most of the impact force is spread across the body evenly, versus if they are not strapped in they're thrown around in the car.  If they're just placed in the seatbelt and they're too young...the seatbelts are made for an adult and a child whose too small for the seatbelt will be thrown out of the seatbelt,” said Frank.


So where's the best place for you child in a car?


“Infants especially should remain rear facing up to the age of one and if possible still remain rear facing as long as they can fit the seats and meet the criteria of the seat until they outgrow them,” said Frank.


And be mindful of airbags...


Frank said, “Airbags can be hazardous for small children.  They need to be in the backseat away from the air bag and strapped into a car seat.”


If you are not sure how to properly install your child's car seat, check with your local police department.  They should be able to put it in for you.



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