January 12, 2007

Half of child seats used incorrectly – BCAA

Burnaby, British Columbia – The BCAA’s Traffic Safety Foundation is reminding parents that, with proper installation and use, infant, child and booster seats do protect children’s lives when in a vehicle.

“The most serious injuries and deaths surrounding safety seats occur due to human error when a seat has not been installed correctly or is not vehicle compatible, is not used properly, or is not appropriate for the age, weight and height of the child,” said BCAA Traffic Safety Foundation Director for Provincial Programs, David Dunne.

Over 50% of the child seats that are seen by the BCAA Traffic Safety Foundation child passenger safety technicians are used incorrectly.

The BCAA Traffic Safety Foundations strongly recommends that parent to review the following points when purchasing and installing an infant seat.

  • Follow manufacturer’s instructions to give your baby the safest ride possible with current technology. Read the instructions and follow them carefully. Even if you don’t usually read the instructions for other products, read your safety seat owner’s manual cover to cover. Also read the section of your vehicle owner’s manual that deals with occupant protection.
  • Purchase the right safety seat / booster seat for your vehicle. Although any safety seat made after 2002 can be installed either with safety belts or the UAS (LATCH) system in a vehicle made in 2002 or later, your child is safest in a seat that is compatible with your vehicle.
  • Make sure your infant safety seat is less than six years old, has never been in a crash, is reclining at about a 45-degree angle in the car, is secured tightly in the back seat and the harness straps are adjusted correctly for your baby.
  • It is recommend that all children remain rear facing until at least one year of age and until they reach the infant/child safety seat’s weight limit for the rear-facing position. Rear-facing safety seats support and protect the head and spine in the event of a crash. – always check manufacture’s instructions.

  • Use safety belts or UAS (LATCH) for an infant seat, whichever you prefer, but not both. If you’re worried about the performance of UAS (LATCH), use the safety belt.

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