National Child Passenger Safety Week: Common mistakes made when securing car seats

Massachusetts

(WWLP) – It’s Child Passenger Safety Week and 22News is Working for You with how to best protect your little one. 

When we spoke with AAA Northeast, they said that car crashes are a leading cause of death for children and urged parents to check their car seats. Dominic Blad of Enfield is a father of two and always has a checklist before getting his infant daughters into his car. One is making sure that the car seats are safely secured. 

“When I get them in the car, I always make sure that the seat belt in the back and the seat is tight and not moving around at all,” said Blad. “The buckle is at armpit level and that’s tight over the chest area.” 

Now that it’s Child Passenger Safety Week, AAA is urging all parents to do the same thing. According to a recent study by AAA, 1 in 10 children under the age of 2 is not riding in car seats in Massachusetts. From 2016 to 2020 in Massachusetts, nearly 5,900 children under the age of 8 were injured in crashes, with 95 of them suffering serious injuries or dying. 

“Far too many kids are getting killed or going to the hospitals with serious injuries, and a vast majority of those cases those situations could be avoided with proper use of the car seat,” said Mark Schieldrop, public affairs specialist at AAA Northeast. 

One of the most common mistakes you can make is securing the car seat too loosely to the back seat. 

Other seat installation mistakes include failure to use the car seat’s tether strap along with lower latches or a seat belt in forward-facing seats. Not tightening harness straps enough when securing the child in the seat, and switching from rear-to forward-facing orientation based on a child’s age instead of weight. 

The American Association of Pediatrics recommends that all infants and toddlers should ride in a rear-facing seat until they reach the highest weight or height allowed by the car seat manufacturer. 

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