With all the hubub surrounding car safety in the US,at the moment, with the Takata airbag incident and the many millions of child booster seats being recalled, it’s no wonder that parents are a little wary of what to strap their little bundle of joy into. That’s why retailer Kmart has teamed up with the Emergency Medical Services for Children program, and the Office of Highway Safety, to help teach parents how to install the seats correctly and to make sure they have the right one.
EMSC Administrator Marlene Carbullido said of the partnership, “We want to encourage families to make sure they transport their children in the safest way possible especially during the holidays.” Both the EMSC and OHS were present at Kmart stores around the country yesterday giving demonstrations, talks and information to parents in pamphlet form, so they can take it home and study. Every parent should know how to install and remove a seat quickly and safely they said.
On top of the recent scandals involving vehicle safety in the US, one stat has also been driving the push for information, and that’s research from Safe Kids USA, which found that over 70 per cent of parents didn’t know how to install a car seat correctly. Considering having the seat installed correctly is of paramount importance to keeping the child safe in the car, it’s something parents really need to take seriously – hence the Kmart promotion.
OHS Child Passenger Safety Instructor Therese Matanane said, “The harness strap here should be tight enough where you can’t pinch it. The retainer clip should be in the armpit level which is right there. The safest place to install a child restraint is in the back seat. Always read the vehicle manual because it has the information as to where the safest place to install the seat in that vehicle.”
There are other considerations to take onboard as well though. Parents need to make sure the child safety seat they chose – after choosing a recommended and well reviewed one – is the right size for their child, which of course changes as they get older. On top of that, some seats are updated as time goes on, with little accessories or additions that improve their safety or tighten up certain weak points. Keeping an eye on the blog of your car-seat manufacturer is never a bad thing and it’s something the organisations behind this recent campaign are keen to put forward.
One good pointer we always like to put out there, is if you’re stuck with anything car seat related, check out TheCarSeatLady. It’s a great resource.