Is your child's car seat safe? Experts urge parents to take precaution observing Child Passenger Week

Posted at 8:24 AM, Sep 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-23 08:25:34-04

CLEVELAND — In honor of Child Passenger Week, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is urging parents to learn how to properly travel with their kids using car seats.

According to ABC, car crashes are a leading cause of death among kids ages 1 to 13.

"Accidents do happen, so being as safe as possible before the accident occurs really makes a difference,” said Dr. Angela Costa, Emergency Department Physician, Children's Healthcare Of Atlanta Strong4Life.

Dr. Coasta told ABC, being safe starts with your child's car seat.

"When you think of things like, 'Wow, if we had just done this, the outcome would be totally different'. It's frustrating. It's sad,” she said.

When it comes to infants and toddlers, car seats should be buckled in a rear-facing car seat with a harness in the back seat until they reach the maximum weight or height limit of their car seat. The straps should be at or below the child's shoulders and the harness should be snug.

As a child grows, a forward facing seat with a harness should be used. The straps should be kept at or above their shoulders and put the seat at the correct angle, which can be found inside the manual.

For booster seats, always use a lap and shoulder belt to properly secure it. The belt should go across the center of their chest and shoulders and then across the hip bones. You can ditch the booster seat when they're at least 57 inches tall and they can sit with their back against the seat with their knees bent over the edge of the seat.

If you need help with a car seat install, you can check out your local police and fire station.

You can also visit Rainbow Babies and Children's hospital for install help and car seat fittings. The hospital is hosting its “Seat Check Saturday” on Sept. 25 at Warrensville Heights’ Buy Buy Baby from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Injury prevention staff will perform free checks.

For more information and help, click here.

ABC News contributed to this story.