SafetyBeltSafe U.S.A. Executive Director Stephanie Tombrello explains how to properly use seat belts to protect your children int he car, a well as shows common types of car seat misuse and common mistakes.
Hello, I am Stephanie Tombrello, Executive Director of SafetyBeltSafe U.S.A. and we are talking today about how to protect our youngest travelers. Now we are going to talk about some of the common errors that parents and other adults make in transporting children in the car. One of the most common errors is to put a baby who should be rear facing, facing the front of the car. Another common error is to take a rear facing infant only seat that is designed only to ride facing the reared vehicles and try to use it forward facing. Of course, that means that there is not correct belt path. With a convertible seat turned around forward facing, we have found that many times parents do not use the correct belt path for forward facing. They think it's okay to either use the latch straps through the rear facing belt path or use the safety belt through that belt path. Now you are putting stress on the safety seat in the wrong place. Probably, the most common error is to have the safety seat too loose in the car. Safety seat should not move more than an inch to the sides or front of the vehicle. Many infant safety seats are convertible seats in the rear-facing position, however, can be easily moved more than an inch towards the back of the car; that's fine, because that's a rebound system that helps to dissipate some of the crash forces and that's expected. Another problem is choosing a seat that's totally inappropriate for the child even though the pounds listed on the seat may make you think that it's right. For example, you might have a child who weighs more than 20-22 pounds and find a seat at the store that says that it starts at 20 or 22 pounds and goes to 40 pounds or higher. That seat is for an older child. The pounds have to do with certification, but the age of the child is very important, because that talks about development and behavior. So now we have talked about some of the common errors that adults make when transporting children in the car. Next, we are going to talk about how to handle those inevitable fusses that children make when they are riding in a car.