Fasten the Seat Belt Properly
One thing about car safety that has been proven time and time again is that seat belts save lives. There is enough evidence, and there are also laws in place that there should be no question but to keep your child restrained in a safety approved car seat, and insist that all older children and adults should wear seat belts.
Children under the age of one or less than twenty pounds (nine kilograms) should be riding in rear facing child safety seats, belted into the middle of the back seat. Children older than the age of one, or weighing more than twenty pounds should be riding in the back seat but can face forward. They should use a safety seat until they outgrow the weight or height requirements, typically at around age four and when they weigh over forty pounds (18 kg). Be sure to read the instructions for the safety seat to be sure it is secured by the seat belt and that the child is correctly buckled in.
Booster seats are used by children between the ages of four and eight, and at least four feet and nine inches (144 cm) tall. A child can use just a seat belt when the belt fits securely across the upper thighs and chest. They should continue to ride in the backseat until they reach their teens.
At some point, a child may question the need for a car seat and even try to unbuckle himself. No matter how busy you are or how late you are running, stop the car immediately and explain that wearing a belt and using a car seat are non negotiable. Never give in. This is one rule that must be steadfastly followed. Your child’s life could depend on it. Likewise, if they try to argue that they are too old to use a booster, stand your ground. Seat belts will not hold them safely until they are the right height. A child under four foot and nine inches (144 cm) has a different skeletal structure than an adult and needs extra protection a seat belt alone cannot give.
Seat belts offer protection five different ways. They prevent the vehicle’s occupants from being thrown from the car. The idea that you are more likely to live if you are thrown from a vehicle is a myth. It is the main cause of head trauma. Seats belts are designed to restrain the strongest parts of your body, at your hips and shoulders, making it easier to keep you in place. Lap and shoulder belts allow the force of the crash to be spread out across the body, limiting the amount of trauma. They restrain you from the dashboard and steering wheel, both of which can cause serious damage. They also help to slow down the body’s momentum from being hit suddenly. The fifth way a seat belt helps protect you in a crash is by protecting your head and spine, the two critical sites of injury.
Be a power of example, always wear your seat belt and never drive without your children correctly and safely secured.