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by Melissa Gilbo, CISR on Nov 13, 2015

Is the car seat in right? Are the buckles too loose? Is the booster right? Should the seatbelt be tighter? These are the questions that run through my mind every time I put my boys in the car or when I give my little nephews a ride. The responsibility of having a child passenger is a big one.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, child safety seats reduce fatal injury by 71% among infants and by 54% among toddlers. Also, belt-positioning booster seats reduce the risk for injury by 59% and seat belts reduce the risk for fatal or serious injury by nearly 50%.

The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) provides a website to help you find the nearest inspection station. Click here to see the 200 Child Safety Seat Inspection Stations that I found in Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

The NHTSA also recommends some easy tips for keeping your precious cargo safe:

  • Select a car seat based on your child's age, height, and weight.
  • Keep your child in the car seat for as long as possible, as long as they fit the seat's height/weight requirements.
  • All children under 13 should ride in the back seat.
  • Follow your car seat manufacturer's instructions and your vehicle owner's manual on how to install.
  • There are different laws and regulations for each state. Find out more about your state's laws here.
  • GET HELP. Certified technicians are available to check your car seat installation for free.
  • Check out the NHTSA website, that I mentioned above, for the nearest inspection station.

There are enough things to worry about when taking care of children, making sure they are safe in the car should be second nature. Knowing the laws and recommendations from experts should help you make the right choices. And, as always, we can lead by example by being a safe parent, driver and rider.

photo courtesy of Dreamstime.com

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