This week (September 18-23) is National Child Passenger Safety week. Last week we attended a Car Seat Honor Roll event hosted by Cars.com. Did you know that Car seats reduce the risk of fatal injury by 71% for infants under 1 year old and 54% for toddlers ages 1 to 4. It was a very informative and educational event for us. They shared with us the best child passenger-friendly vehicles in their Car Seat check honor roll.
I will be honest when I have shopped for cars, I have always thought about the comfort and safety of our family. At the event I learned that as a parent shopping for a new car, you need to look at how your car seat or booster will fit into the car. This is especially important especially if you have multiple children in car seats. If you are looking for a SUV that can fit 3 car seats across the backseat, the 2018 Honda Odyssey tops the list.
We learned 3 very important things while at the Honor Roll event. All cars manufactured after 2002 are required by the federal government to have a Latch system. Latch stands for Lower Anchor and Tethers for Children, which usually consists of two sets of lower Latch anchors and three top tether anchors. Convertibles and pick up trucks don't always have tether anchors. The backseat middle position is considered the safest place for a child although most cars don't have Latch anchors there.
Kids should be in a booster until they are 4 feet 9 inches (this can vary by state) tall. Seatbelts are OK when kids are tall enough to sit without slouching, can keep their back on the seat, knees bent over the edge and their feet on the floor.
Even after kids are out of car seats parents should keep their children out of the front seat until age 13. If you must install a car seat in the front passenger seat, you should deactivate the passenger air bag. The force of an airbag deploying can kill a small child.
In order to insure your car seat is installed tight enough, grab the car seat at the belt path and pull it side to side. It shouldn’t move more than 1 inch in either direction.
Cars.com has three certified child passenger safety technicians on staff. They write articles that help us busy parents figure out the complicated world of car seats. You can find there articles here.