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How to protect children in vehicles

AAA East Central has discussed recent research on child passenger safety, encouraging parents to protect their children inside vehicles.

There is an alarming lack of knowledge toward child passenger safety and awareness by parents and caregivers, according to recent research from AAA and the National Safety Council (NSC).

AAA East Central has reminded parents why it is vital to properly install and use car seats for children. Despite over 139,000 children being injured from car crashes in 2020, only 20% of parents and care givers install a car seat or secure their child in a car seat with the help of an expert.

“Child safety seats reduce the risk of fatal injury by 71% for infants and by 54% for toddlers, but more than half of them are installed improperly,” said Lori Cook, safety advisor at AAA East Central. “That’s why AAA urges parents and caregivers to educate themselves and look for free resources, such as virtual or in-person car seat inspections in their area.”

Car seats should be picked based on the age and size of the child, according to AAA. A child’s seat should also fit the vehicle and be used every time there is a child passenger. For proper installation, parents and caregivers should rely on instructions from the car seat’s manufacturer and the manual from the vehicle’s owner.

Children should use car seats for as long as possible, as long as they remain within height and weight requirements. If the child is aged 12 years and younger, they should remain in the back seat. Finally, the AAP recommended that all car seats are registered, and that parents and caregivers sign up for recall notices to keep up on safety updates.

AAA offered other resources, such as Car Seat Basics, an online training course to help parents learn about child vehicle safety. Additionally, AAA East Central encouraged parents to get their vehicles inspected to ensure maximum safety for their children.

Reference

Car Crashes are the no. 1 safety issue for children. Accessed September 27, 2022.