Is your child riding in the right car seat?

22638668_SIs your child riding in the right car seat? It all depends on your child’s age, weight and height.

For infants and toddlers up to two years of age, a rear facing car seat is generally the safest option until they reach the maximum weight and height allowed by the car seat manufacturer.

Children who have outgrown a rear-facing carseat should ride in a forward-facing car seat with a harness for as long as possible, up to the maximum weight and/or height allowed by the car seat manufacturer.​

For older children, booster seats generally should be used until the child has reached a height of 4 feet 9 inches and is between 8 and 12 years of age. One of the biggest mistakes parents make is discontinuing the use of booster seats too early. In fact, a recent study showed that nine out of every 10 parents stop using booster seats before it’s safe to do so! Another mistake: Allowing children to ride in the front seat of a vehicle. The safest place for children is the back seat until they are at least 13 years old.

Did you know that it’s estimated that three out of every four car seats are installed incorrectly? Closely follow car seat manufacturer guidelines when installing a car seat in your vehicle. If in doubt, take advantage of one of the periodic car seat installation safety checks offered by local law enforcement, fire safety personnel or safety organizations.

The most effective ways to avoid a driveway disaster


Every year, thousands of children are killed or seriously injured because a driver backing up didn’t see them.

New vehicle technologies are designed to reduce these types of accidents. But no matter how many safety features cars are equipped with, there still is no substitute for following some basic safety rules, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Here are some of the most effective ways to avoid a disaster in your driveway:

1. Always assume children could be in the area and carefully check the street, driveway, and area around your vehicle before backing out. Before you get in your vehicle, take a few seconds to walk all the way around it to check for children.

2. Teach children not to play in, under, or around vehicles. Ever. Consider allowing children in your driveway only when no vehicles are there or even making your driveway a toy-free zone. If children are playing in your driveway, make sure they are supervised by an adult and there is a physical barrier to prevent any cars from entering.

3. If you’re driving an SUV or truck, the blind spot behind your vehicle can be quite large. Use extreme car when backing up a large vehicle.

4. Back up slowly, with your windows rolled down, to listen for children who may run behind your vehicle. Don’t rely only on vehicle technology such as backup cameras or warning devices.

5. If you’re the only adult home and have to move your vehicle, it’s safer to have your children in your vehicle with you than outside it.