Sunday, September 21, 2008

National Child Passenger Safety Week

I decided I'd better get a move on updating my blog, or people will be starting rumors about me!

I'm a few days behind with this but wanted to share anyway!

Last week was Child Passenger Safety Week. On Saturday, I went to Gering to help with a big Car Seat Check event. We checked over 90 Child Restraints, as far as I know, none were correct.

Motor Vehicle Injuries are the leading cause of death among children in the U.S. (CDC 2006)

"If a disease were killing our children at the rate unintentional injuries are, the public would be outraged and demand that this killer be stopped." - C. Everett Koop, M.D., Sc.D., Former US Surgeon General

Did you know 4 out of 5 kids are unsafe in the car? Is your child one of them?

Common Misuse:

Forward Facing too Soon...

1 year AND 20 lbs is the bare minimum.Both criteria must be met. Consider extended rear-facing (see the 15 minute challenge below)

Rear Facing Crash Test Video

Forward Facing Crash Test Video

Harness too loose...

Should pass the "pinch test". If you can pinch a horizontal fold in the harness just below the shoulder, it's too loose.

Chest clip too low...

Should be at armpit level.

Using an Infant insert, snuzzler, bunting or blanket that goes behind the baby...

Reduces safety and voids the car seat warranty. Use only accessories that came with the car seat. Blankets that go over the car seat are fine.

Wearing thick or puffy coats in the car seat...

Reduces safety because they compress in a crash. Use a thinner fleece jacket or blankets in the car.

Child has outgrown the car seat by height or weight or both...

Replace seat immediately.

Seat is outgrown by height Rear-Facing when there is 1" or less of shell above head. (unless user manual states otherwise) Forward-Facing when tops of ears are even with top of shell OR shoulders are above top usable harness slots. (see below.)

Using wrong harness slots for your child...

Rear-Facing should be at or below shoulders.

Forward-Facing should be at or above shoulders. If this is not possible, then the child has outgrown the seat.

LATCH used in the center seating position...

Most vehicles don't allow this. Check your car user manual. If it's not explicitly stated as a valid configuration, then it's not allowed.

Both LATCH and Seat-belt are used together...

Choose one. They should never be used together. (Glasses are good and Contacts are good but you never wear them together!)

LATCH used beyond the LATCH weight limit...

Usually 40 or 48 pounds. Check your vehicle manual and car seat manual for the limits and use the lower of the two. Install with seat-belt once limit is reached.

Buying a used car seat...

Not recommended. Check accident history, recalls and expiration date.

Using an Expired Car Seat...

Replace seat immediately. Most seats expire 6 years from manufacture date. The car seat shell usually has a sticker with either expiration date or manufacture date. Also refer to the car seat manual.

Using a car seat that was in the vehicle during a collision...

Most car seats need replaced after a crash. Call the car seat manufacture and check the car seat manual to find out if the seat needs replaced. Auto insurance usually covers the cost of a replacement seat.

Top Tether not used...

Rear-Facing: currently only a few manufactures allow top tether use.

Forward Facing: Top Tether must be used if LATCH is used. Also recommended for seat belt installation. Check both car seat and vehicle manual for appropriate use and limits.

Moving to a Booster Seat too soon...

4 years and 40 pounds is the bare minimum.There are car seats with a 5 point harness that go to 65 or more pounds.

Check out this 5pt harness vs booster seat crash test.

Moving OUT of a booster (to adult seat belt) too soon...

Most states require booster seats to be used AT LEAST until the child is 6 years old, and most states are now 8 years old. Booster seats should be used until the child passes the 5 step test.

Do you feel lost when trying to pick out the "best" or "safest" car seat for your child? You're not alone! Here's a great list of Recommended Car Seats.

Extended Rear Facing: Take the 15 Minute Challenge!

Forward Facing is not a milestone - It's a step down in safety. Challenge yourself to take 15 minuets to do an internet search on "Extended Rear-Facing".

See why they AAP and Child Passenger Safety Organizations recommend rear-facing for as long as possible - beyond the minimum of 1 year and 20 pounds.

Current research shows that children under the age of two years are 75 percent less likely to die or be seriously injured when they are riding rear facing. In a recent article from Injury Prevention, it was found that the odds of severe injury to forward facing children age 12-23 months old was 5.32 times higher than a rear facing child. (Car Safety Seats For Children: Rear Facing For Best Protection; Injury Prevention 2007; 13:398-402.)

Life Saving Stats and Interesting Facts:

*Motor Vehicle Crashes are the # 1 killer of Children age 14 and younger in the US.

*The impact created from a head-on collision at 20mph is equal to jumping head-first off a four story building.

*During the month of March 2008, 19 persons were killed in traffic crashes on Nebraska roadways.

*These 19 fatalities occurred in 18 crashes.

*Fourteen of the 18 vehicle occupants killed were not using safety restraints.

*Three fatalities occurred on the Interstate, eleven happened on non-Interstate highways, and five took place on local roads.

*Seventeen of the fatalities occurred in rural locations.

*Nine of the fatalities occurred in rollover crashes.

*Three of the fatalities occurred during inclement weather.

*One of the fatalities was a motorcyclist.

Every Crash consist of 3 Collisions.

1. Vehicle Collision. (vehicle into object)

2. Human Collision. (occupant into restraint, or unrestrained occupant into window or other object in the path of motion.)

3. Internal Collision. (internal organs move toward the point of impact and hit either organs, bones and the skull. Even though the body may appear uninjured, the liver, spleen, heart or other organs may be torn, bruised and/or caused to bleed.)

Weight X Speed = Restraining Force!

Consider this: A car going 30 mph would hit a tree with the same force as hitting the ground after falling off a 40 foot cliff.

10lb infant x30mph = 300 lbs of force! (sorry, you're NOT going to be able to keep a hold on to that baby!)


Huisman5 said...

Whew! Made it! I think I'll tiptoe around the comment sections for a while now--your mother is making promises! (smile!)

Dalayna said...

Thanks :)

Lisa M said...

Thanks! I think I may need to make some adjustments! Uh oh! Yeah - it's a good job you updated...although I think it would be comical to read the rumours they would come up with! Haha!

jrjelinek said...

Lisa you'll have to check out our sister Dalayna's blog then for the rumours and that was just off of a one line post.
Lynisha when we do have kids I'll be sure to have you install the car seats. I think I'll take you car shopping with me also.

Lynisha W said...

Jeanne - No, when you have kids I'll TEACH you how to install seats! Tech's can't be an installation service because it doesn't do parents any good if they don't know how to do it right themselves!

The J's said...

Probably the hospitals should HIRE tech's to check the car-seats at the hospitals & teach the parents to install them right. If I remember correctly when Jessi was born, the nurses checked to see if they had a car seat, but didn't even check to see if they PUT it in the car or not!

Lynisha W said...

Most hospitals do hire techs, but they are nurses too and they don't have the time to keep up on their certification so they let it lapse.
And, they're also too short staffed for a nurse to be able to spend 30 minuets with the parents to teach them how to correctly install a car seat anyway :(

The J's said...

Yeah, so hire techs that are NOT nurses, that are only there (or on call) for THAT job!

Kristen said...

Thanks for the information. Some of it I didn't know - definately need to check our car seats!