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Car Seat Program



Monthly Car Seat Checks 2014_thumb.jpg The leading cause of death among children ages 3-14 in the United States is motor vehicle accidents.  We can decrease this number by more than half by placing children in appropriate safety seats. Safety seats that are installed correctly can decrease the risk of death by 71%in infants and 54% in toddlers, and decrease the risk of injury to children using booster seats by 59%. 

Mountain View Fire Rescue wants to take a stand and keep our kids safe.  According to Safe Kids USA, 55% of fatal crashes happen in the rural communities and are usually more severe.  As most of Mountain View’s district is in the rural area, we believe it is essential to properly install and always use a child’s safety seat. 

429891_512560262133212_956727088_n_thumb.jpgAs there are many different types of car seats, it’s important to take the time and choose the correct seat to fit your child’s age, weight, and height. The safest seat is the one that is installed correctly and used correctly 100% of the time. Now we will go through the basics of car seat safety.







Rear Facing: Ages 0-2+

Keep children rear facing they outgrow their rear facing convertible seat and are a minimum of two years old. A toddler’s spinal column is still developing and rear facing is the best protection for their neck and spine.

-Position harness straps at or below the shoulders.

-Place the chest clip at armpit level.

- Straps are snug against the child’s torso and you cannot pinch any slack at their collarbone.

Forward Facing: Ages 2+

Once a child has outgrown their rear facing convertible seat and is at least two years old, move them to a forward facing seat with a 5 point harness.

-Position harness straps at or above the shoulders.

-Place the chest clip at armpit level.

- Straps are snug against the child’s torso and you cannot pinch any slack at their collarbone.

- Use the top tether if available.

 

Belt Positioning Booster: Ages 4+

Once a child has outgrown their forward facing 5 point harness and is at least four years old, move to a belt positioning booster. It is important that the child is mature enough to stay sitting in position with their seat belt fitting correctly for the entire ride.

-          Shoulder belt should fit flush with the torso and even across the collarbone.

-          Lap belt should sit low on the hips, touching the tops of the thighs.

-          If using a high back booster, position the shoulder belt guide at or above the child’s shoulders.

-          If using a backless booster, position the vehicle’s headrest so the child’s ears are not above the top of the headrest.

 

Seat Belt Alone: Ages 8+

Colorado law requires children to ride in a booster seat until their eighth birthday, but most children are not tall enough to fit safely in a seat belt until they are 4’9” tall: average for an 11 year old. To determine if your child is ready to ride without a booster they should be able to:

-          Sit all the way back in the vehicle seat.

-          Knees bend at the edge of the vehicle seat.

-          Shoulder belt fits flush against the torso and even across the collarbone.

-          Lap belt sits low on the hips, touching the tops of the thighs.

-          The child can stay seated comfortably this way for the entire ride.

 

All children under age 13 should ride in the back seat when available!

 

Additional Safety Tips:

-          Install your car seat using LATCH or seat belt, not both.

-          The car seat should not move more than 1” side to side or front to back once installed.

-          Check your vehicle manual for rules about which seating positions have LATCH and what the LATCH weight limit is.

-          Check your car seat manual for information about car seat expiration, height, and weight limits.

-          Never use a seat that has been involved in a crash.

-          Remove bulky clothing and coats before buckling up.

-          Never use items in your car seat that didn’t come with the seat.

Mountain View Fire Rescue believes in keeping our children safe.  By following these rules and routinely checking the car seat, we can reduce the number of child injuries and fatalities from motor vehicle accidents. 

If you are interested in hosting or being a part of a Car Seat Check event, please email us.

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