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Car Seat Safety Laws & Tips for Safety Week!

As an ambassador for Safety 1st, I will receive a variety of samples as well as compensation. All opinions are my own.

I’m a firm believer in car seats and still use car seats for each of my boys ages 1-7. Even as I start to see the parents of my 7 year old starting to use a seat belt only, I look at my own son and how he really is still just a young kid and can’t imagine switching over to a seat belt only. In the state of Arizona, the laws require the use of a child restraint seat through the age of 4 and then a booster seat with seat belt through the age of 7 and 57″. My son isn’t anywhere near 57″. My youngest is still rear facing and we will keep him rear facing until at least two.

Unfortunately, most people just don’t understand how important car seat safety is or the way to use them properly. I think a lot of people don’t realize that the age minimums are not the only number we need to look at but their are weight and height requirements as well for all car seats. I came across this extremely unfortunate scene at my son’s school. The owner of this car is a mom of four. Her oldest is 7 and the youngest is under two years old. The day I snapped this picture, she had all four kids along with her on the drive to drop off her oldest two at school. She has a four year old in my son’s preschool class. I just couldn’t see this scene and not stop to say anything.

Car Seats Done Horribly Wrong

UNSAFE way to ride in the car!


To which of course I wanted to roll my eyes and say right.. it just happens to be right there on the seat. Right in the exact spot one of your four kids just piled out of the car from. Oh, and the airbags.. yes, you have airbags unless this happens to be a salvaged car that didn’t have them replaced.

It made me so incredibly sad, and really frustrated, to see this situation occur. I felt there is no way I can really help her and those children since she wasn’t willing to accept any help. I was really curious to see if the next day she would have any car seats in place. I wasn’t able to see into her car except as she passed so I couldn’t see if she did add car seats. However, what I did see completely blew me away. As she pulled out of the parking lot, I saw her 4 year old daughter standing up in the car directly behind the drivers seat. I immediately called my state’s reporting line to report the incident.

With Child Passenger Safety Week this week, I am also reaching out to the local school to see if we can get an information sheet about our local car seat laws sent home in the kids folders. I’m still holding out some home that something will help this woman see the importance, even if it’s only in a selfish sense that she could face a hefty fine for her lack of concern and safety.


Child Passenger Safety Week

This week is Child Passenger Safety Week, a great time to share with those around us the importance of car seat safety! Car crashes are the leading cause of death for children ages 1 through 12 years old. With almost an average of 2 children in this age range per day killed and another 325 children injured per day! The proper use of car seats can lower the fatality rate.

Car Seat Safety Week

An innovative new product from Safety 1st can help you keep your older kids properly in car seats, no matter what activities they have after school or your carpool routine. The BoostAPak Belt-Positioning Booster Car Seat makes it easy to take a booster along with your child. It is recommended by the AAP that school aged children, even up to the age of 12 or 57″, should ride in boosters. A booster can reduce injury risk by 59% in ages 4-7 compared to a seat belt alone!


Car Seat Safety Tips

Car Seat Safety Tips From Julie Vallese, Safety 1st Consumer Safety Expert.

Importance of Rear Facing: In March of 2011 the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) updated their car seat recommendations advising that children should remain rear facing until the age of two, or until they reach the maximum height and weight requirements allowed by their car seat. According to a study in the Journal of Injury Prevention children under the age of two are 75 percent less likely to die or be severely injured in the event of a car crash if they are rear facing. When a child is rear facing their head, neck and spine are better supported and in the event of an accident, crash forces are distributed over the child’s entire body.

Installation: According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association, 75% of car seats are installed incorrectly.  Every car and car seat has different requirements for the safest installation so before you get started it is important to read both the car seat and car manual.

Typically the center rear seat is the safest place for a car seat, and never install a car seat in the front seat.  If your car does not have a latch connector for the middle seat, you can use the middle seat belt to properly secure the base.  When installing, make sure the base of the car seat moves no more than an inch from side to side. An easy way to test this is to hold at the belt path.

New parents and grandparents are encouraged to attend a car seat check before the baby is born.  However, don’t just rely on the experts. You’re likely going to be taking the car seat out and installing it somewhere else at some point, so make sure you’re comfortable with the process too.

Here’s a great video about installing car seats properly:

Car Seat Expiration: Never use used or old car seats.  Car seats do have an expiration date and it is to understand the risks associated with using an expired or old car seat.  The reason for an expiration date is because plastic can warp and materials can fray, which can make car seats less safe to use.  Car seat technology and state and federal car seat regulations change.  A car seat deemed safe more than six years ago may no longer meet federal testing regulations.  Important warning labels may wear out and instruction books may get lost, which can lead to improper use of the car seat.

Have you ever had your car seats checked by a professional? Find a local place to have your car seat checked by visiting NHTSA’s website!