The American Academy of Pediatrics has issued an updated policy statement in Pediatrics advising that children use rear-facing car safety seats until they reach the height and weight limits recommended by manufacturers and use forward-facing seats with harnesses until recommended limits are reached once they have outgrown rear-facing seats. The guidance also urged the use of belt-positioning booster seats for those who exceeded the limit for forward-facing seat use and said that all children younger than 13 should sit in the back seat of a car. Read more.
Wondering if your child is outgrowing his or her car seat? It’s important to choose and use the right car seat correctly every time your child is in the car. Follow these steps to choosing the right one, installing it correctly, and keeping your child safe.
Adapted from Healthfinder.gov
Parents of young children may leave some aspects of child safety behind when they hit the road for the holidays, a new study finds.
“Parents are typically vigilant about safety measures, making sure toddlers are always in car seats and that medications and cleaning supplies are locked up or out of reach. But they may be less fastidious while on vacation, leaving medications in open suitcases or on hotel tables or not childproofing a relative’s house,” said Sarah Clark, co-director of the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll.
“It’s important that parents are just as attentive to child safety risks on trips as they would be at home,” she said in a university news release.
The new report, based on a nationally representative survey of about 2,000 households, focused on parents of kids aged 2 to 5. The researchers found that 15 percent of parents said they didn’t secure their child in a car seat during every car ride — including those in taxis and Uber and Lyft vehicles — during a recent trip.
“Car crashes are a leading cause of injury and death among toddlers, which is why it’s critical that parents plan ahead to make sure their child is properly restrained during every car ride on vacation,” Clark said.
“Planning for car seats can be inconvenient in certain destinations, but going without is never worth the risk,” she noted.
Only about 75 percent of parents said they stored medication away for safety while traveling with their child. About two-thirds checked to make sure that cleaning supplies and weapons were secured when they traveled. And, around two-thirds checked to make sure the hot water temperature at the place they were staying was appropriate.
Just 40 percent of parents took all three of those safety measures, the poll found.
“Traveling with a toddler can be a daunting task,” Clark said. “Many parents spend quite a bit of time planning ahead to avoid meltdowns by scheduling days around naps and packing items that will keep their kids entertained. It’s just as important that parents plan for measures to keep kids safe on the road.”
Clark provided these tips:
- Bring a car seat (you may be able to check it with an airline for free) or rent one.
- If you’re staying at someone’s home, ask them to secure medications, household cleaners and other potentially hazardous items, such as guns.
- Bring safety devices like cabinet latches and baby gates as appropriate.
For more about traveling safety with children, visit the American Academy of Pediatrics.
The safest car seat for your child depends on factors including your child’s age and weight, and your particular car.
The American Academy of Pediatrics says you should avoid any car seat that:
- Is older than the manufacturer’s recommended age of use.
- Lacks a manufacturer’s sticker that includes the model number and date of manufacture.
- Has any visible crack.
- Has been recalled.
- Is missing the maker’s instructions.
- Was involved in a car accident.
Click here for Florida specific child car seat laws.
If you’re traveling by plane with a young child, don’t forget to bring a child seat.
The Federal Aviation Administration advises:
- Use a child restraint system (CRS) that’s approved for use on a plane.
- Buy your child a ticket, and ask the airline if there’s a discounted fare for a child. Book adjacent seats, but be aware that you can’t put a CRS in an emergency exit row.
- Ask the airline for help in making a connecting flight. It may be difficult to navigate a busy airport with the CRS, luggage and children.
- Pack a bag with fun activities for your child, as well as snacks.
A cold front is coming to Central Florida this weekend which means layered clothing and possible heavy jackets. However, placing your child in a car seat while bundled up in a winter coat can be a major safety concern for your child. When a child is wearing a winter coat, it may feel like they are strapped snugly into a car seat when the straps are actually dangerously loose.
Experts say to strap your child securely in their car seat without their coat on. Instead of putting the coat on your child, you can put the coat over the child to keep him or her warm, or you can use a blanket. The advice even applies to adults: Experts say they shouldn’t wear their winter coats when they’re behind the wheel or riding in a car.