Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Chid Passenger Safety Week

If you know me, then you probably know that I am big on car seat safety.

When Timothy was born, I didn't do much research and didn't know much about car seats. He was born in 2007. We always had the right car seat for him and he rear faced until just over 1. Back then I assumed that at 1 you were suppose to turn them forward facing, so we did. We now know that this is not the safest.

Studies show that your child should ride rear facing until the limits of the seat, and not 1 and 20lbs. I am glad I now know this information. I am glad I have done my research. I am proud to say that my 2 year old son still rides rear facing! His car seat allows for rear facing until 35lbs, or less than 1 inch of car seat shell is above his head. He is at 25lbs now, and has plenty of room to still grow. He will remain rear facing until he is of weight or height of the car seat. This is the absolute safest way for him to ride in the car.

Please keep your children rear facing as long as possible and not the standard 1 year and 20lbs. Keep them rear facing until the limits of the seat!

Not only am I a extended rear facing advocate, I also firmly believe in extended harnessing. My three year old 37lb son is in a 5 point harness and will be for a long time. Your should also keep them harnessed until the limit of the seat. Many seats now harness up to 65lbs and even 80lbs and above. Timothy is currently in a Graco Nautilus that harnesses to 65lbs. I plan to buy him a seat that harnesses up to 80lbs. But with him only being 35lbs now, we have a while to go.

Facts and statistics show that seat belt with boosters just are not safe for children. I am not willing to take the risk and hope that the seat belt works in the even of an accident. Please think about harnessing your child until at least 65lbs if not 80lbs. Do not jump into a booster too soon.

This video broke my heart the first time I ever seen it. This was well after I planned to harness my kids for a long time, but just another reason to validate my decision. The sad thing is this is not the only story of this happening. It happens all too often.

The Importance of a 5 point harness car seat from Laura Bower on Vimeo.

Taylor of course is still rear facing in her infant seat, but when she outgrows that I plan to move her into Mason's seat rear facing, put Mason in Timothy's seat if he big enough to forward face, and then put Timothy in the new 80lbs harnessed seat. If Mason at that time still needs to rear face he will go into the new seat until he can forward face.

I hope that with just a little more information and research more people will become extended rear facing and harnessing parents.

Here are some facts I got from the Kyle David Miller Blog:

* Securing your child in an appropriate child restraint - rear-facing to the max and harnessing to the max.

* That your restraint is appropriately installed - no more than 1 inch of movement side to side, front to back when tugged lightly at the belt path

* That you are using your child restraint correctly - harness is set at the correct height (at or below shoulders for rear-facing, at or above shoulders for forward-facing), the harness is tight enough (pinch test at the collarbone) and the chest clip is placed at armpit height

* If your child is in a booster seat, make sure the lap portion of the seat belt lies low across the child's hips (not on the abdomen) and the shoulder portion lies across the middle of the chest and lays on the shoulder (not touching the neck)

Keep those children safe! Buckle up!

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