Stephanie Tombrello: Hello, I am Stephanie Tombrello, Executive Director of SafetyBeltSafe U.
A. We have been talking about the importance of keeping your whole family safe in the car. Now, we are going over a one minute safety check for everyone who rides in the car with you.
Recent research has underlined what we've known for years. Children who are riding rear-facing in the car are 76% less likely to be injured than children who are riding forward-facing even when they are restrained. SafetyBeltSafe U.
A. recommends strongly that children remain rear-facing for much more than the initial first year. Today, we have seats that go up to 30-35 pounds rear-facing and we encourage you to use them for your babies and even young toddlers. Regardless of the age of the child we're transporting, we want to make sure that you're buckling that child up properly. So quickly check, what direction is the safety seat facing? Is it the right direction for your child's age and weight? When your child is in a safety seat with a full harness, does that harness snug so you can't pinch any fabric of the harness between your fingers? Is the safety seat properly attached with either a safety belt or the lock system in the car and does that seat move more than an inch to the sides or front of the vehicle?
Once the child no longer fits in a seat with a full harness system, is the youngster sitting properly in the booster. Make sure that the safety belt is snug and down low on the hips and between the child's neck and shoulder. Sometimes with the booster seat people put the safety belt in the wrong place or it's held too far away from the child's body. So make sure that there is a close fit. When a child passes the five step test and is sitting alone in the safety belt make sure that the belt is again between the top of the shoulder and the neck, never under the arm or behind the back.
For all adults, make sure they are wearing their safety belts properly. Now, we have gone over the one minute car safety check for your whole family. Next, we're going to talk about a few more tips for riding safely in the car.