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Vehicle safety for children is a top priority for parents and caregivers. Car crashes are the leading cause of death for children from age 0 - 14 years old. An estimated 8,960 lives were saved by child safety seats and restraints from 1975 to 2008. The number one way to prevent injury to children in vehicles is the use of child safety seats and booster seats. It’s very important, however, to use the proper type of seat for your child’s age, weight and height. Also, make sure the seat properly fits your car. A seat that is not installed in the vehicle properly can be very dangerous. Follow your car seat’s manufacturer’s instructions and the vehicle owner’s manual for how to install. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s website has a lot of very useful information. You can check your state’s specific laws on child safety seats, and register your seat in order to receive notification of any defects and recalls. Also, on their website, you can find the nearest safety inspection site where certified technicians will check your car seat installation for free.

All children should stay in car seats and booster seats as long as possible. Thereafter, all children under the age of 13 should ride in the back seat to prevent injuries from air bags. In general, the backseat is simply the safest area of the car for children. There are other types of accidents, including suffocation from being left inside a hot car and what is known as a “backover” or “rollover.” Preventing car injuries is possible by paying attention, avoiding all distractions while driving, especially the use of cell phones and texting, and never driving while drinking. Sometimes the question of whether a pregnant woman should wear a seatbelt or not arises. The answer is, “yes.” It’s recommended by doctors as the best way to protect both mother and the baby. The seatbelt should lay across your chest between your breasts and away from your neck. The lower strap should be fastened below your belly so that it fits snugly across your hips and pelvic bone. With common sense and by following a few simple steps, vehicle safety can become second nature and help prevent dangerous accidents.


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