Stephanie Tombrello: Hello, I am Stephanie Tombrello, Executive Director of SafetyBeltSafe U.
A. and I am here to tell you how to protect your baby in the car. Now, we are going to talk about vehicles made after 2002 and some of the special features that have been added to make it easier for you to buckle up your child in the car. The first thing I want to mention is that in 2002 ,a new set of what are called lower anchor bars or latch was required in motor vehicles. These bars which are set deep in the backseat of the vehicle are meant only to hold car seats for children weighing less than 48 pounds. If you use the lower anchors, you can use them instead of the safety belt. These bars which you can feel with your fingers are indicated by little symbols that show a child in a safety seat.
The word LATCH means Lower Anchors and Tether for Children. So that will remind you that every time you use the lower anchors for a forward facing child, you want to use the top tether anchor as well. It really provides more protection. If you use the lockable safety belt with the forward facing child in a seat with a harness. You would also use the top tether anchor. We now have a requirement for shoulder lap belts in the center of the back seat. Something that SafetyBeltSafe U.
A. has been looking for since 1986. We are very happy to have that protection particularly for older children and adults, when sitting in this very safe position, which is the center of the backseat.
Another new feature of many vehicles in the period after 2002, are side airbags. Side airbags are different from the airbags in front and do not pose a risk to children. All of them are tested with dummies to see if a child would be injured if that child were actually out of position and lying against the side airbag or side air curtain. Side air curtains are going to prevent a lot of fatalities and injuries, because there is something between the intruding vehicle and the person inside. Lot of people don't realize that in a collision, you go toward the point of impact, so when you are in a side impact, it's as if your body is thrown toward the intruding object, the side air curtain comes in between. And now we have talked about the features in vehicles manufactured after 2002, next, we are going to talk about how to install safety seats for your infants and younger children.