Safety expert speaks out about car seats

A crash test demonstration shows dummies of unrestrained children being tossed to the front of the car. It's disturbing, but important for parents and caregivers to see because

"The number one cause of death and injury to children is the motor vehicle crash," says Child Passenger Safety Specialist Gina Veres.

And according to Safe Kids of Greater Toledo, a shocking 90 percent of child safety seats are used incorrectly.

"The most important step I think is just making sure that everything is secure, and that they are in the appropriate type of seat," Veres says.

Veres says the appropriate seat depends on the child's height, weight and age.

"We don't want infants in booster seats. Of course, the child shouldn't be too big for their seat. And an older child shouldn't still be riding in an infant carrier," Veres says.

Infants under the age of one and weighing less than 20 pounds should always be the correct types of car seat and face the back of the vehicle to protect their heads, necks and spinal cords.

Children more than a year old and weighing between 20 to 40 pounds can ride in a forward facing seat while older children under 4 ft., 9 in. tall and weighing more than 40 lb. should ride in a booster seat.

For any parent who thinks tightly holding their arms around their child is enough to keep them restrained in a crash, Veres says, "Think again."

"You take the weight of the occupant or child times the speed of the vehicle so even a 10-ln.  child going 30 miles an hour, and if there was a crash, that child's going to feel like it weighs 300 lb.

Posted by KO