Thursday, March 3, 2011

Car Seat Safety Webinar- Hosted by Britax

A few weeks ago I attended a webinar on car seat safety hosted by Britax! Yes, I just talked about updated car seat safety on Tuesday, but there were some additional things not included in my post I'd like to share with you that were covered in the webinar. Bear with me as I'm going off of chicken scratch notes taken at that time!

1. Kids are 5 times safer rear-facing through their 2nd year of life.

2. When rear-facing, there should be 1 inch space from the top of their head to the top of their seat. If there is less, you would need to purchase a seat that allows for greater height while rear-facing or turn them forward.

3. Car seats are only tested for frontal impact.

4. It is best to use your car seat to the maximum's- both for rear-facing and forward-facing. Do not base on child's age.

5. When rear-facing, the strap height should be at or below their shoulders. When forward-facing, the strap height should be at or above their shoulders.

6. It is legal to turn your child forward-facing at 1 year AND 20 pounds but it is best practice to remain rear-facing.

7. To check that the harness is adjusted snug enough, attempt a vertical pinch of the strap near the collarbone. The fingers should slide off. If you can pinch any material the straps are too loose.

8. Chest clips are always to be at the armpit level. The purpose is to keep the straps on their shoulders so the child does not eject from their seat in the event of a crash.

9. A booster seat should only be used with a lap and shoulder belt- not just a lap belt(like in the center of some older vehicles). It is how they were tested.

10. Keep the booster secure whether or not the child is in the car. In the event of a crash it may become a projectile and harm the other occupants or driver.

11. A child is ready for a regular seatbelt when they meet the following requirements:

  • Tall enough to sit without slouching
  • Back is against the seat back
  • 4'9" and age 8
  • Their knees are bent over the edge of the seat and feet are flat on the floor

Basically, the law is the legal minimum requirements. The safest practice is to base the proper car seat setup for your child on height, weight, age and body development.

The webinar instructor was:

Sarah Tilton
CPS Tech. Instructor
Britax Child Safety, Inc.


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