Thursday, May 1, 2014

Keeping Kids Safe in the Car

The Lewin family takes vehicle safety extremely seriously. As a parent it’s important to know the proper safety standards when it comes to child passenger safety. Many laws regarding seatbelt use and how old one must be to sit in the front seat vary state-by-state –but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention outline the safest possible ways to regulate this issue. 

From birth up until the child turns 2 they should be seated in a rear-facing car seat, in the backseat, until they reach the highest weight or height limits of the specific seat, which will be explained in the owner’s manual. Depending on the weight and height regulations, typically from age 2-5 the child can sit in a forward-facing car seat in the back. Usually after age 5 (depending on the specific regulations), the child can graduate to using a booster seat and always accompanied by the use of a seatbelt. Once the seatbelt fits properly (lays across the upper thighs, not the stomach and across the chest, not the neck) it is not necessary for the child to use a booster seat.

As for when the child should be allowed to sit in the front seat, the laws do vary state by state, but the CDC suggests that all children ages 12 and under sit buckled in the back seat. Airbags can actually be dangerous for young children and sitting in the front seat could be fatal. Usually, by the age of 12-14 the child is at a height (4 feet 9 inches) where the airbag is no longer a safety hazard. When your child is at a height where they can sit in the front seat, make sure they know how to properly wear their seatbelt before moving the vehicle. It’s especially important to note that using a seatbelt is always necessary to ensure safety while in a vehicle and the best way to set a good example for children is to always wear a seat belt when you’re in the car.

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