Safe Travels Part 1: Car Seat Safety

Welcome back to our holiday blog series featuring tips to keep kids safe while traveling away from home. Many families travel by car during the holiday season to visit family and friends. Motor vehicle accidents are a leading cause of injury and death among kids, but many injuries can be prevented by using the correct child safety restraints. Whether you’re driving across the country or across town, it’s important to make sure children are safely buckled up.

Experts have different recommendations for the type of child safety seats that should be used depending on the age and size of your child. It’s recommended that infants and toddlers remain rear-facing as long as possible and until at least the age of two. But in a 2011 NPCH report, we found that only 13% of children remained in rear-facing car seats that long.

Car seat infographic: Age child was first turned forward-facing

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For more information and instructional videos about proper child safety seats for kids at different ages, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Child passenger safety seats aren’t just recommended; it’s also the law that your child is properly buckled up. In a 2010 NPCH Report about booster seat use, one-half of parents of kids ages 4-8 did not know their state’s law regarding booster seat use. Make sure you know the laws in your state and any states you’ll be driving through over the holidays. You can view state laws for booster seats online at the Governors Highway Safety Association website.

Before hitting the road this holiday season, make sure each of your children is riding in the proper child passenger safety seat for their age and size. To make sure they’re safe, you can arrange for a car seat inspection with a certified child safety seat technician. They’ll inspect your child safety seat and make sure it is properly installed. Visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website to find a location near you.

Next week, we’ll take a look at more safety tips for holiday traveling. Do you have tips of your own? Share them in our comments section!