Ella is an active, happy, playful almost 2-year-old, and she knows when it’s time to go to the grocery store, playground or church, she’ll be securely fastened into her car seat before her mom puts the car in gear. Ella has responsible caregivers who provide her with a safety-approved car seat that is properly installed.
According to the National Safety Council, vehicle crashes remain the No. 1 killer of children ages 3 to 14 in the United States. Child safety seats, booster seats and seat belts are the best protection. Placing children in age- and size-appropriate car seats and booster seats reduces serious and fatal injuries by more than half. But most car seats are being used incorrectly in some way, putting children at risk.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says three out of four parents are not properly using child restraints. Often installation is incorrect or the wrong type of seat is being used for the child’s height, weight or age. Some car seats like the Britax Boulevard Convertible Car Seat G4 are made for infants (rear facing) 5 to 40 pounds, older children (forward facing) 20 to 70 pounds and up to 46 inches, making selection easier.
To improve the correct installation and use of child safety seats, education, certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians, and laws and enforcement are being used to help protect children if they are involved in an accident.
Safety technicians are certified by NHTSA and Safe Kids USA to educate parents about child passenger safety and to make sure seats are installed properly. Technicians can be found through Safe Kids Coalitions, police departments, fire departments and hospitals. Find a technician near you through the Child Safety Seat Inspection Station Locator.
The Right Car Seat
In addition to campaigns to make sure car seats are installed correctly, advanced design and technology are making car seats safer too.
The Britax Boulevard G4 seat literature explains that this car seat “offers additional head safety through the use of Britax SafeCell Technology in the base and HUGS chest pads with SafeCell Technology, integrated steel bars, and energy absorbing Versa-Tether that work together to reduce the risk of head injury during a frontal impact.”
In other words, the car seat protects the child on all sides lessening the force of an impact. For more information check the company’s website.
The combination of shopping for the correct car seat, making sure it is installed properly and teaching your child the car doesn’t go in gear until they are securely fastened in is the best protection for your child if they are involved in a car accident.