Taking a quick trip across town or going on a family road trip with your children can be hectic. Keeping your family safe from point A to point B shouldn’t be a last minute concern. United Auto Insurance understands that every driver wants their passengers, especially children in car seats, to be safe.
The right car seat for your child helps to relieve the stress of wondering if your children feel safe, secure and comfortable during the trip. Up until the age of seven, children should be in some kind of car seat. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that 248 children under the age of five were saved by having the proper car seat in 2015. Parents, siblings, grandparents and anyone caring for a child can feel more confident in a child’s well-being by knowing they are using the right car seat.
Before shopping around for any car seat, it’s important to recognize the right fit for your child. There are three types of car seats, all with specific features for the safety of the child.
Rear Facing Car Seats
Young babies should use a rear facing car seat. In particular, infants up until 8 to 9 months are safest in this type of portable car seat. A child’s neck and spinal cord is more fragile than adults. Made with growing babies in mind, the infant rear facing car seats have a harness that will reduce stress on the baby’s neck and spine.
Even as the child gets older, rear facing car seats will continue to be the safest choice. Every car seat manufacturer will have a height or weight limit that will indicate how long a child should remain in a rear facing car seat. Great options for a long lasting car seat are convertible seats or all-in-one seats that can change over to a forward facing car seat when the child is larger.
Forward Facing Car Seats
Once your child reaches the top height or weight limit for a rear facing car seat, they can be moved to a forward facing car seat. Every forward facing car seat must still be in the back seat and secured by a harness and tethered to limit the forward movement in the event of a crash. In order for the car seat should be installed properly, special care should be taken to test out the car seat for appropriate fit to your car.
Instead of moving a child directly to a seatbelt from a forward facing car seat, it’s important to use a booster seat to ensure that the seat belt is fitting properly. The lap belt of a seat belt should lie across the thighs, not the stomach as it often can with a small child without a booster seat. When using a booster seat, the child’s shoulder belt should fall across the shoulder and chest, as opposed to the neck or face.
A booster seat may have a high back for continued neck support, which is especially important in cars without headrests. A backless booster seat, while often easier to transport, should only be used if the car has head rests to support the child’s neck and back. Booster seats are meant to make sure that a seatbelt fits a child properly. Once again, the child should continue to ride in the back seat when using a booster seat.
Keep Your Child Safe with the Right Fit
After reviewing the best type of car seat for your child, it’s always important to test out the car seat to make sure that it is the right fit for your car. Review how the car seat is meant to be installed, either through the lower anchors or a seat belt. Remember to always lock in the seatbelt if using that method to secure the car seat. Additionally, a tether anchor can be used to attach a car seat to a car, especially helpful for forward facing car seats. Understanding how to install the car seat in your car will keep your child safe on every trip.
Sometimes children need adult supervision in the backseat. When this happens, be sure to buckle up in the back when taking care of the kids in the backseat.
Stay confident in every part of your driving experience. Contact a friendly representative at United Auto Insurance today to get a free quote and learn about how to keep your family safe and secure with the right car insurance.