One of the most important things you can do to keep your children safe during Utah’s 100 Deadliest Days, and all year long, is to ensure they are buckled in properly. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), car seat, booster seat, and seat belt misuse rates vary from 74 to 90 percent. In Utah, that misuse rate is closer to 90 percent due to the large number of children here. If your car seat is not installed the way it was crash-tested, then it may not protect your child the way it should in the event you and your family are involved in a crash.
To double-check that you’ve installed your car seat or booster seats correctly, take some time to watch the instructional videos below from NHTSA. You can also schedule a car-seat check with your local Child Passenger Safety Technician.
Follow the guidelines below for correct car seat usage
Rear-Facing – Use the rear-facing seat to the highest weight and height allowed by the car seat manufacturer. Rule of thumb: use a car seat that allows your child to stay rear-facing at least until age two and 30 lbs.
Forward-Facing – Use the forward-facing seat to the highest weight and height allowed by the car seat manufacturer. Rule of thumb: use a car seat that allows your child to stay in a forward-facing car seat at least until age four and 40 lbs.
Booster – Children can move to a booster seat after they have reached the maximum height or weight of the forward-facing seat. A booster should be used until the seat belt fits the child correctly or 4’9”.
Seat Belt – A seat belt is made for adults, not children. In order for a seat belt to work correctly it must fit correctly – over the strong bones of the body – the shoulder bone and the hip bones. Remember, a booster seat is recommended for children under 4’9” OR if the seat belt straps rest on the stomach or neck.
Back Seat – Children under 13 years old should always ride in the back seat.
Buckle Up – Set the example for your children and always buckle up.