HEALTH

Using child safety seats the correct way

Jan 4, 2023, 5:36 PM | Updated: 5:46 pm

 SALT LAKE CITY — As Utahns pick up the normal routine of heading to work and taking the kids to school, the Utah Department of Public Safety reminded parents how to make sure kids are buckled up safely in cars.

According to SafeKids.org, car crashes are the leading cause of death for kids ages 1 to 13. Proper car safety helps reduce that.

Utah law requires all children eight years and younger to be in a car seat or booster seat.

Booster seats reduce the risk for serious injury by 45% for 4 to 8-year-old children.

Kerilee Burton with the Department of Public Safety has worked in the child passenger safety industry for more than 30 years. She said while date showed improvement in the number of people wearing seatbelts and using child restraints, most crashes that end with the death of a child are preventable.

“When I’m in the emergency room and a family’s been in a crash, and they have some kids who are hurt they are all ears and we want to get them before that happens, of course,” Burton said. “Our aim is to make sure that all families arrive home safely. I feel like it will always be an issue because we are talking about children. We’re talking about children who can’t make these decisions for themselves.”

Burton said improper use of car seats and boosters is typically what sends a child to the hospital.

She suggested some helpful tips:

Make sure your car seat doesn’t move more than one inch from side to side or front to back.

Make sure your child is restrained in a car seat until they exceed that maximum height or weight limit. There is information on the side of the car seat to help you determine that.

Buckle the chest clip at nipple level and keep it over the bone.

Keep the shoulder straps tight and make sure your child is wearing it like a backpack.

Check the expiration date on your car seat. Utah’s weather can expand and contract the materials wearing them out.

There are 106 car seat inspection stations around the state to help you determine if you have the correct car seat for your child. Click here to find one near you.

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Using child safety seats the correct way