(WYTV) — September marks Child Passenger Safety Month, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has found that nearly half of car seats are installed incorrectly. This week’s Positive Parenting talks about the importance of car seat safety.
“You’re looking at whiplash injuries, you’re looking at fractures. You can look at bruising, and stuff like that,” says Dr. Benjamin Brocker, an osteopathic doctor with Mercy Health.
Those are just a few of the risks associated with an incorrectly installed car seat. Other risks include the seat tipping over.
“You want to pull on the car seat, and if it’s not moving more than an inch, then that’s good,” Brocker says. “If it moves more than an inch, that’s bad, and that’s an increased risk of something happening.”
Injuries to your child’s limbs can happen if the straps are too loose. One way to tell if the straps are tight enough is through the “pinch test.”
“You kind of clamp down, and if the harness pinches, it’s no on tight enough,” Brocker says. “When you can’t pinch it, it’s on tight enough.”
It’s also important to make sure your child stays rear-facing as long as possible. While guidelines vary for car seats, the general guideline is that kids outgrow these seats around the age of 2.
“After, they become the age of 4 and they’re 40 pounds, they can actually get out of that and go to a booster seat,” Brocker says.
When in doubt, look at the manual for your specific car seat for fit and safety instructions.