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Child Car Seats

Category: Practical Advice Driving and Towing | Author: |  Date posted:  | Impressions: 22881   4371

Use Child Car Seats Safely

The growing awareness of safe driving and the “Arrive Alive” campaign, and our National Road Safety Laws has alerted the general public and parents to the importance of using car seats for their small children whenever and wherever they are driving. No matter the distance.

However, serious neck and spinal injuries -- and even death -- can result if child car seats are used incorrectly.

While motor vehicle accidents can be dangerous for all passengers, small children are especially at risk.

The weight of the head of a child makes the cervical spine much more vulnerable to injury, and the infant has very little control in the muscles of the neck, and the head can also bounce from side to side and fall forward, which can cause serious spine and neck injuries, according to Medical research on child related accidents.

The following guidelines and safety tips will ensure proper car seat safety:

  • Make sure the child safety seat is appropriate for the age and size of the child. A newborn infant requires a different seat than a 3-year-old will require.
  • The car seat should always be rear facing as the forces and impact of a crash will be spread more evenly along the back and shoulders, providing more protection for the neck
  • Car seats should always be placed in the back seat of the car. This is especially important in cars equipped with air bags. If an air bag becomes deployed, the force could seriously injure, suffocate or kill a child or infant placed in the front seat.
  • Make sure the car seat is properly secured to the seat of the vehicle and is placed at a 45-degree angle to support the head of the infant or child.
  • The lap harness should be fastened low, as close to the hips as possible; the harness should never be fastened around the waist.
  • Make certain the shoulder harness is fastened securely and the straps lay flat against the body. Twisted straps can cause additional injury and might prevent the seat from working properly.
  • Use a retention clip (if provided by the manufacturer) when securing a child safety seat with the shoulder harness. The retention or shoulder harness clip is an added safety feature and must be fastened close to the armpit of the infant or child.
  • Borrowing or purchasing a used car seat can be dangerous; there is the possibility of unknown or undetected damage. 
  • Car seats that have been in a serious accident should never be used again.Be sure the clip between the legs of the child is fastened snugly.

If you or one of your children are involved in a serious automobile accident and have experienced neck and back discomfort, you should consider a visit to a chiropractor without delay.

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