Parents need to catch up to the safety advances in car seats and learn how to install them correctly, according to a study released this week by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Although all vehicles and car seats made since 2002 come with an anchor and simple strap meant to keep a car seat from tipping forward, the safety feature gets used just a little more than half the time. Consumer Reports’ dynamic testing of car seats clearly shows that using the strap for forward-facing child restraints significantly reduces the potential for injury.
Unfortunately, this message is not getting across to parents and caregivers. In its survey, the IIHS looked at 479 vehicles that included a forward-facing child restraint in suburban areas across the country. It found that the top tether and anchor was used only 56 percent of the time. Although this is an improvement over previous studies, it’s still far from a best practice. Parents gave the following reasons for not using the top tether and anchor:
- 22 percent didn’t know it was there.
- 15 percent didn’t know how to use it.
- 13 percent didn’t have enough time to connect it.
- 10 percent thought it wasn’t important or needed.
- 9 percent were unsure of where to attach it.
- 8 percent didn’t know they had an anchor.
The reasons don’t come as a surprise to us. The top tether is a key part of the LATCH system (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children) that enables car seats to be installed more easily and more securely. While the lower anchors, which fasten the car seat to the vehicle seat, are typically used more often, the top tether anchor is often ignored. One reason may be that the tethers are not required for installation of rear-facing seats so when a child is ready to face forward, the strap isn’t considered necessary. Another is that the anchor is in different locations or may be difficult to identify or find in different vehicles. In sedans the top tethers are typically located on the rear shelf but they may not be as easy to find in SUVs, hatchbacks or minivans where they may be on the seat back, in the floor, ceiling or under the seat.
In the survey, the IIHS found that when the top tethers were used, 31 percent were installed incorrectly. The most common mistakes involved loose straps, incorrect routing and twisted straps. One of four drivers in the study admitted that they had trouble using the tethers. That’s why we recommend that you always read the owner’s manual for both your car seat and your car. Another place to get help is at a child safety checkpoint; to find an event check safekids.org.
Based on our car seat tests, we believe that top tethers should be used for all forward-facing child seats whether the seat is installed using the lower anchors or the vehicle’s seat belts.
April 15, 2013
Mon Apr 15, 2013, 12:40 AM EDT
If you’re a thrifty parent, grandparent or parent to be, you’ve undoubtedly thought about buying a used car seat for the little one. It could save a few bucks and, in this economy, why not?
As it turns out, there are a lot of reasons not to. KDMC’s certified child safety seat technicians nearly had a fit when we floated the idea past them. Here’s what they said:
How can you know for sure the car seat has never been in a wreck? Car seats are designed to protect children during an accident, but they are not indestructible. A child safety seat can suffer serious damage during an impact. One that’s been through a crash will not protect as well as it should.
‰How can you be sure you have all of the original parts and pieces, including the manual? If something is missing, the seat won’t work right, putting your child at risk.
‰Can you verify there’s never been a recall on the seat and, if there has been, how can you be sure the recall repair was actually made?
‰Do you know the seat has NEVER been dropped? Believe it or not, dropping a seat can permanently damage it.
‰How old is the seat? You should never trust your child’s safety to a seat that’s more than five years old.
‰Have the straps ever been completely submerged or washed with anything other than mild soap? OK, we know that sounds silly, but the flame retardant in the straps can be washed away by soaking or using the wrong chemicals for cleaning.
KDMC child safety seat technicians urge the use of new child safety seats only. It’s the only way you can be sure the seat will perform the way it should. Technicians are available to answer any questions, help with installation and, if you cannot afford a child safety seat, direct you to community resources that may be able to help. Best of all, their services are free. Call them at (606) 408-9301 for more information.
It turns out that child safety seats are only safe if they are installed properly.
Safety was the name of the game this weekend at Billion Auto Group as Bozeman Firefighters and Child Care Connections held a child seat safety clinic…giving parents a chance to make sure their kids are tucked in nice and tight.
The numbers are impressive…child safety seats can reduce a fatal injury by 71-percent for infants and 54-percent for toddlers…
Trained car seat technicians at the clinic checked to make sure the seats were installed correctly and the kids were buckled in right.
“About four in five car seats that come into a clinic or that are checked are installed improperly or that the child buckled into them improperly,” says Patrick McLaughlin of the Montana Highway Patrol.
Amanda Dreadin brought her vehicle in so that both her sons safety seats could be checked and she’s glad she did. “We learned that we didn’t have the seat in right with his…the strap wasn’t in the right spot… so it’s a lot more secure now.”
There are a number of fitting stations across the Gallatin Valley…if you’d like to make an appointment to get your child safety seats checked, call Child Care Connections at 587-7786.
Posted: Thursday, March 28, 2013 1:45 am
Child safety check Friday at Batavia Fire Headquarters
The City of Batavia Fire and Police Departments will hold a free child safety seat check event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday at Fire Headquarters (18 Evans St.), rain or shine.
Nationally-certified technicians will be on hand to answer questions, check recalls, and assist with making sure all seats are installed correctly.
Parents should remember to bring both the car seat and the child so that proper instruction/installation can be done.
Did you know three out of four car seats aren’t used correctly? Surprised? Stop down this Friday, to the event and ensure your children are traveling safely.
For more information contact City Fire Headquarters at 585-345-6375.
Thursday, March 28, 2013 1:45 am.
- Obituaries for Monday, March 25, 2013
- Obituaries for Saturday, March 23, 2013
- Obituaries for Tuesday, March 26, 2013
- Obituaries for Wednesday, March 27, 2013
- Police blotter for Monday, March 25, 2013
Submitted by Howard Owens on March 25, 2013 – 2:29pm
On Friday, March 29, 2013, (Good Friday), the City of Batavia Fire Police Departments will hold a Free Child Safety Seat Check Event at Fire Headquarters (18 Evans St.) from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., rain or shine.
Nationally certified technicians will be on hand to answer questions, check recalls, and assist with making sure all seats are installed correctly. Parents should remember to bring both the car seat and the child so that proper instruction/installation can be done.
Did you know three out of four car seats aren’t used correctly? Surprised? Stop down this Friday, March 29 to our event and ensure your children are traveling safely.
For more information contact City Fire Headquarters at 345-6375.
Posted on | March 18, 2013 | Comments
The fourth annual Child Safety Fair will be held from 3 to 6 p.m. May 17 at Albert A. Chatigny Sr. Community Recreation Center, 1310 Oak Valley Parkway.
At the free event, parents can learn about children’s safety services available in Beaumont. Included will be free food, prizes, entertainment, car seat inspections, a petting zoo and jumpers.
The event is presented by Prevent Child Abuse San Gorgonio. For information, visit pcariverside.org or call (951) 686-5581, ext. 1003.
Free child safety seat check-ups
Posted: Tuesday, March 12, 2013 11:33 am
Free child safety seat check-ups scheduled
Safe Kids Columbia County will hold two free child safety seat check-up events in March. The first free event will be held on March 16 from 1–3 p.m. at the St. Helens Fire Station, 105 S. 12th Street, in St. Helens. The second free event will be on March 21 from noon to 2 p.m. at the Clatskanie Head Start Center, 365 SW High School Drive, in Clatskanie.
A certified technician will check to ensure each child has the right seat and that it is installed correctly. Technicians will also check for recalled or expired seats.
Safe Kids Columbia County can provide low-cost and no-cost child safety seats to families in need through a grant funded by ACTS Oregon. Child safety seats and safety belts can prevent injuries and save lives when installed and used properly. In fact, a young child restrained in a child safety seat reduces risk of death by 71 percent.
Safe Kids Columbia County in partnership with ACTS Oregon has been hosting car seat events since
2006. The mission of Safe Kids Columbia County is to reduce unintentional childhood injuries and death.
For more information about Child Injury Prevention or the car seat events, please contact the Commission on Children and Families at 503-397-7211.
Tuesday, March 12, 2013 11:33 am.
By Jim Donovan: On Saturday, February 23, 2013, the Burlington County Sheriff’s Department will be holding a “Safety Day” at the Medford Lakes Fire Department on Stokes Road from 9 am to 12 pm.
The free event will include child safety seat checks by certified Child Safety Seat Technicians. Anyone who has a car seat in their vehicle can stop by to make sure that the seat is installed properly.
“Parents should stop by to have their child’s safety seat checked by our certified technicians. It only takes a few minutes to complete.” said Burlington County Sheriff Jean Stanfield. “We have inspected more than 10,000 safety seats since we started this program 13 years ago. Over the last year, fewer than 12% of the seats we’ve checked have been installed correctly.”
The Sheriff added that in the past a child whose seat had been checked and installed by the team was involved in a motor vehicle crash, but made it through unharmed. “The child slept during the incident and his seat remained secure throughout the ordeal,” said Stanfield.
For more information, call the Sheriff’s Department Community Services Unit at (609) 265-3788.
New child safety seat rule sparks concern
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Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) — A new rule on child safety seats that goes into effect next year is creating confusion now.
“Latch” anchors for child car seats have been required by federal law since 2001, but safety advocates say they’re not strong enough.
Starting in 2014, parents will be required to know the combined weight of the seat and their child before deciding whether to secure the safety seat with latches or with a seat belt.
Jeanne Cosgrove-Marsala is a registered nurse who directs the Safe Kids program at Sunrise Children’s Hospital. She says the new rules are designed to take into account larger children over the age of three and heavier car seats.
She says, “The bottom line is, you need to make sure you check your owner’s manual of your vehicle to check what your upper weight limits are to the lower anchors in your car. If your child has exceeded that weight, then you are to use the seat belt to buckle your car seat in.”
Cosgrove-Marsala adds that parents who use latches and seat belts together are making a big mistake, because that can crack a safety seat frame and put a child further at risk.
Child safety seat check Feb. 4
GENESEO — The Geneseo Police Department has scheduled a child safety seat check event from 4 to 8 p.m. Feb. 4 at the Geneseo Fire Hall, 133 Center St., Geneseo.
Trained officers will check to see that your car seat is properly installed. No appointment is necessary.
if you are unable to make the event, you may schedule an appointment by contact Officer Jeffrey Szczesniak or Officer Daniel Piedmonte at 243-2420.
The event is funded by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration with a grant from the New York State Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee.
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