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Child Passenger Safety Week 2015

September 13-19, 2015

Child Passenger Safety Week is an effort to boost proper car seat usage and save children’s lives. As the leader in safety technology, our passion is protecting children. Throughout the week, Britax will be sharing information on how you can better keep your family safe.

You probably already knew that car seats only provide adequate protection when they’re installed correctly. But did you know that upward of 75 percent of seats are not properly secured in vehicles? In light of this disturbing statistic, it’s no wonder car accidents are the leading cause of death for children 1 to 13 years old.

Britax is determined to lower these numbers.  Below you’ll find information on ensuring proper car seat installation and fit.

How do you know which car seat is best?

The right seat or booster fits your child and car, and is one you will use correctly every time you travel.

Did you know that your car seat has an expiration date?

Double-check the date-of-manufacture (DOM) label and car seat user guide to be sure your seat is still safe.

Replace any car seat that is in a severe crash or past its expiration date.

The backseat is the safest place for passengers under the age of 12.

Did you know that vehicles have LATCH (lower anchors and tethers for children) weight limits?

Be sure to check your vehicle owner's manual to find out what the limits are for your car. If the manual doesn't specify, then you should assume the combined weight limit for your child and their car seat is 65 lbs. Switch to a seat belt installation once they exceed the limit. Get more information on LATCH.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), a loose installation is one of the top five most common car seat misuses. The car seat should not move more than one inch front to back or side to side at the belt path.

Install your car seat using either LATCH or the vehicle seat belt system.

You should not use both systems at the same time, unless specifically allowed by the car seat manufacturer.

Bulky clothing or blankets can prevent a snug harness fit. Place blankets over, not under, car seat harnesses.

When shopping for a forward-facing seat, choose one with a V-shaped tether. This safety feature reduces car seat rotation and forward movement in the event of a collision.

A loose harness is one of the most common ways a car seat’s level of protection is compromised as it leaves your child vulnerable to injury during a crash.

Make sure your child’s harness is properly snug. Read more.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends children ride in a rear-facing car seat until they are 2 years of age or until they reach the highest weight or height allowed by the car seat’s manufacturer.

Choose a car seat with adequate side impact protection. Side collisions represent 25 percent of accidents and result in the most severe injuries.

According to a recent study by the NHTSA, the number one car seat misuse is having the wrong harness height. Harness straps should be at or slightly below the child’s shoulders for rear-facing and at or slightly above the child’s shoulders in a forward-facing car seat.

Chest clips should be placed squarely over your child’s chest at armpit level – not at the base of the neck or over the stomach.

Register all your baby gear – especially car seats.

Registration allows the manufacturer to contact you as soon as possible in the event of a safety campaign. To register a Britax product, go here.