Saturday, July 7, 2007

Car Seat Safety - Resources, laws, installations, guidelines

The percentages of incorrectly installed car seats are staggering! You read that the % of incorrectly installed car seats ranges from anywhere in the low 70's to upper 80's. Through the efforts of some fabulous organizations these percentages are declining but not fast enough.

With 10 NHTSA Certified Car Seat Technicians, Goore's performed over 5,000 car seat installations in 2006 so we know 1st hand that these percentages are still very high. These percentages include minor infractions such as not having a rear tether tight enough or not having the seat installed at precisely the right angle but even that could have a negative effect if you are in an accident. On the reverse of that some people get creative with their car seat installations and go over board. One install we saw was done with airline cargo straps routed through the car seat and the vehicle seat. Then there are the parents who just don't seem to care and barely have their car seats buckled in. Please take the time to get educated, read your car seat & vehicles manuals and make sure your child's car seat is installed correctly.

I have compiled a list of helpful and informative websites below as a good place to start. I tried to give a brief synopsis of each site but I couldn't do that complete justice in a blog entry. Take the time to navigate each site. The information may be repetitive in some areas but you can't learn too much on this topic.
  • American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) - They have a large amount of information relating to car safety seats and transportation safety. Some are their guidelines that they put out and others are links to differing organizations like NHTSA (see below) or (see below). They are a good starting point for information.

  • National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) - This site covers everything related to highway traffic safety. The link takes you directly to their car seat safety section. NHTSA is committed to providing the most accurate and complete information available to its customers, the American traveling public, in a helpful and courteous fashion. In all of our activities, we will strive to meet or beat our established deadlines for providing customer service.

  • Safe Kids USA - Safe Kids Worldwide is a global network of organizations whose mission is to prevent accidental childhood injury, a leading killer of children 14 and under. They have some excellent resources for car seat safety. This site has a ton of great resources like Safe Kids Buckle Up, their child passenger safety program. There is a car seat inspection station finder and a look up for each state's child safety laws and regulations. They also offer other links on car seat safety and advocacy.

  • - SeatCheck is a national campaign to help parents properly secure their children in motor vehicles. Central to their program is a free child safety seat inspection locator service on their website. These SeatCheck resources provide a listing of more than 4,000 local inspection locations staffed by trained and certified child safety seat technicians, so finding one near you should be easy. In addition they offer safety tips, LATCH information, recall lists, and various fact sheets and press releases related to the topic.

  • The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) - The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia are great advocates for child passenger safety. CHOP along with State Farm Insurance teamed up to create Partners for Child Passenger Safety. Their site was developed by Partners for Child Passenger Safety to help parents and caregivers learn more about child safety seats, booster seats and seat belts. They offer detailed information and videos on how to properly install your child's' infant, toddler or booster seat. They also have sections devoted to LATCH and airbags. The videos are a great resource when you can't get to a location that can help you properly install your car seat.

These are only a few of the many resources available online. I felt these were the best options for someone needing to learn about car seat safety. So now, get educated, install your seats properly and don't forget to buckle up!

Richard Goore - Goore's for Babies to Teens -

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