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Are your children's car seats properly installed?

Sometimes it seems as if Roseville parents spend all of their time shuttling their kids to and from school, to team practices and other extracurricular activities and social obligations. The more time spent riding in passenger vehicles increases the potential risk of an injury-causing accident.

Parents should always focus on keeping their children safe from as many hazards as possible. With that in mind, below are some tips for keeping kids safer when they are passengers in your car:

  • Read the instructions. Don't assume that you know how to install and use a new car seat. Read both its instructions and those parts of the car's owner's manual that deal with safety seats.
  • Face the rear. Make sure that infants always ride in car seats that are turned to face the rear of the car. They should ride this way at least until they have reached their first birthday or weigh 20 lbs. or more.
  • Beware of air bags. Infant seats that face the rear shouldn't be situated in front of passenger air bags.
  • Reposition car seats as kids grow. When babies have outgrown the rear-facing position, remember to turn them around to face forward.
  • Replace car seats as needed. Kids' car seats should be replaced with booster seats when they have outgrown their car seats. Once they have turned 8 or attained the height of 4'9", they can ditch the boosters and comfortably ride wearing a seat belt.
  • Don't resell or buy used car seats. Many parents are unaware that car seats have expiration dates. Never use any older than six years, or any models that have withstood a collision, no matter how minor.

Car seats can only keep your children safe when they properly fit the kids and are used during each and every ride. Have a policy that the car never moves until each child is securely belted in the seat. If a child gets out of his or her seat, pull off the highway until everyone is safely resettled again.

Even the most vigilant, safety-oriented parents can be involved in collisions. Do what you can to keep your child safe.

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