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Monday, September 14, 2009

Are Your Children Properly Restrained In Their Car And Booster Seats?

This week is National Child Passenger Safety week and is a perfect time to check your children's car and booster seats.
Are your children in the proper seat for their age and weight?
Are the straps still fitting them properly or do they need to be adjusted?
The American Academy of Pediatrics' Guide for Families can help you do a quick car and booster seat check.

Things to remember:

1. Older children should be in a booster seat until the car's shoulder belt fits them correctly. This usually isn't until they are 4 feet 9 inches. Some cars have a way to lower the height of the shoulder belt. If it is not obvious if your car has adjustable seatbelts, consult the manual.

2. Once children outgrow their booster seats, they are still safest properly restrained in the backseat until they are at least 13 years old.

3. Rear-facing is the safest position for infants. Studies released earlier this year showed that infants are much safer in rear-facing seats and if possible children should remain rear-facing for as long as possible. Infants should remain rear facing until they are at least 1 year AND 20 pounds. After which they should remain rear facing, until they outgrow the rear facing weight and height limitations on their particular car seat.

If you are unsure if your children's car and booster seats are installed correctly you can find an inspection center near you at www.seatcheck.org.