As part of National Safety Month, we are highlighting the Seattle Children’s Hospital in this blog post. We admire their commitment in helping keep children safe and healthy. We recommend this charity for your Seattle car donations for their work as one of the Nations Best Children’s Hospitals, according to U.S. News.
Today, we’ve partnered with the Seattle Children’s Hospital to bring you some helpful tips in keeping your kids safe in your vehicle with the proper use of seat belts, car seats and booster seats.
All parents will agree that our most precious cargo in our vehicle is our children. That’s why it’s so important to follow advice from professionals who have researched injury protection in car crashes to ensure we protect our children when they are in our cars or when they are riding in another person’s car.
Rear-Facing Car Seat Until At Least 2 Years of Age
- It has been recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics that kids ride in a rear-facing car seat until the minimum age of two years old. If the seat is large enough, parents may consider keeping them rear-facing for longer.
- The most destructive car accidents are when a car impacts something from the front. A child’s head is protected in a rear-facing car seat, extending the force of the impact evenly across the seat which considerably lessens the risk of injury.
- Save money by purchasing a bigger car seat which adequately fits your child through the toddler years and THEN can be turned and used as a front-facing seat when your child is at least two years old or has reached the recommended weight limit by the manufacturer.
- Use the simple method of “latch and tether” to firmly attach the car seat, if possible. If a seat belt must be used to attach the car seat, ensure that it is pulled tight and has no slack for it to be loose.
- If you prefer to see your child, purchase a mirror meant for rear-facing seats so that you can glance back for brief check-ups on your child. Remember that both you and your child are safest when you focus on driving with your eyes on the road in front of you.
Booster Seat Until Your Child is At Least 4 Feet 9 Inches Tall
- DO THIS TODAY: Mark the wall at the 4’ 9” height from the ground. Then tell your kids that they can ask about getting out of their booster seat ONLY when they are taller than the mark on the wall.
- Your kids should stay in the 5-point or harness type seat until they have grown past the manufacturer’s recommendations. Typically, kids grow out of their harness seats between the ages of 4 and 6. At this point, they are ready to use a booster seat.
- Regular seat belts are designed only for adults. Using a booster seat is critical to helping the seat belt keep your child in position in the event of a car crash. When in a booster seat, a child will be sitting up higher and can see out the window better.
- Some children have been admitted to Seattle Children’s Hospital with critical injuries when they have been mistakenly put into a seat belt before they were big enough. They have seen serious spinal fractures, head injuries and abdominal injuries due to this because the child’s torso is not safely held using a seat belt meant for an adult.
- Car safety should not be negotiated with. You may want to keep extra booster seats available when giving rides to ensure that each child traveling in your vehicle is properly belted in and safe. It is also the law and the driver is the one liable.
Child Car Safety
- The worst tragedy is when a child isn’t buckled at all, or isn’t buckled up in the correct car seat. Even a crash at a low speed could cause ejection from the car, life-threatening injury or death.
- Make sure to BUCKLE UP EVERY TIME. Even if it just a few streets away, most crashes happen close to home. Make it a rule that everyone always buckles up in the car.
- If your child always travels in a certain car, install a car seat that will stay there. If a grandparent or day-care provider drives your child, buy an inexpensive seat for them to keep in their car for your child. Have a car seat that is available for carpools.
- Until they are at least 13 years old, keep your child in the back seat. Make this a rule and don’t ever bend it. When you allow them the treat of riding shotgun, it’s so much harder to transition them back to riding in the back seat. Their safety should be more important.
- Remember that everytime you transition your child too early, you are decreasing their level of safety.
For vehicle donations in Seattle, consider the Seattle Children’s Hospital to support their commitment to children. You will receive free towing of your car and may be eligible for a tax deduction. Call us today at 1-800-237-5714.