Buying the best car seat appropriate for a child’s size and age is not enough to protect an infant or toddler from injury in a severe car accident. The smallest oversight in installation carries catastrophic consequences. Cutting corners and purchasing a used, outdated, or defective car seat can also result in tragic outcomes.
In recognition that nearly half of child car seats are installed incorrectly, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) sets aside a week to raise awareness of dangers the children face as passengers in motor vehicles.
Growing Awareness Results in Cutting-Edge Safety Measures
Child safety seats were once made of plastic with a bar pulled down and somewhat secured to protect a young one. Over time, innovation played a crucial role in providing children greater protections. Additionally, the use of front-facing seats became a thing of the past and replaced by more safe and secure back-facing seats.
Concurrently, state after state passed laws that mandated children be secured in those seats appropriate for their size and age. Currently, all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and all U.S. territories have laws that require children to ride in car and booster seats up to various ages, with the maximum being nine-years-old.
A safe child seat is not always the one that costs the most. Safety recalls occur for seats that run the gamut of price points. Also, registration of the seat with manufacturers is not a step to skip, due to the possibility of a recall and subsequent notification.
This year, Child Passenger Safety Week occurs from September 20 to 26th. The week traditionally ends with certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians nationwide, making themselves available to conduct safety checks and providing insight to parents to ensure that their child is safe.
Acknowledging the current public health emergency, the NHTSA will provide virtual options in various locations for parents and caregivers.