Stephanie Tombrello: Hello, I am Stephanie Tombrello Executive Director of SafetyBeltsafe, USA. We have been talking about how to keep your older child safe in the car. Now we are going to talk about a few important car safety tips. It's very tempting when a co-worker or a relative calls with the news that they have a safety seat that they have been using and they would like to use it for your new baby. However you need know a lot before you take a used seat. First of all every safety seat has it's birth date on it and it's recommended that people not use seats that are more than six years old. So you need to know the date of manufacture of the seat. Also there are what are called safety seat recalls. If the person who owned the seat didn't register it with the safety seat company or didn't hear about the recall for some reason, you maybe taking a seat that has a problem. Finally because about 90% of the people who use safety seats for their children make errors usually inadvertently. You can't just take the word of the person who owns the seat about the right way to use it. You need to have the full instructions. Many a times it's a good idea to get a new seat anyway, because technology is always improving and there are lots of new features in the newer seats. When parents and other adults are taking children in the car they often like to take some toys along. Also they'd like to do errands and pick up things from stores. Sometimes they don't think about what will happen if there were a crash and someone hit the car and these toys and groceries can become missiles. Remember at 30 miles an hour everything that unrestrained is going to move in the direction of the crash at 30 times it's weight. So always think about storing the objects such as groceries, tools, sports equipments properly in the car. If you have a separate trunk use that, if you don't look into getting proper kind of netting or barrier to keep the missiles away from your family. Be sure that if you can't afford a built-in DVD or other entertainment system that you not place an ordinary television set in your car. Those become tremendous missiles and we have had children who were killed because their car was hit and the television set flew through the car. Never leave a young child alone in the car. There are many reasons for this. First of all, the heat built-up in a car is very quick and young children have a hard time coping with heat. So don't leave a child alone in the car. Secondly you can leave them at a time when it's a cold time in the air and they can become hypothalamic, so that's a risk. You may think that you are only going for a minute but some times what happens is, someone else gets into your car while you are taking that one minute running into the post office and takes your car with your child in it. On the other hand we have situations when with slightly older youngsters, where they get into the car by themselves and if they are used to getting into the front seat, they will generally try to get into the front seat and play with the steering wheel.
There are many aspects of keeping your family safe in the car. We have covered the basics of child passenger safety and how to keep your older child safe in the car.