Archive | October, 2007

Is Your Child’s Safety Car Seat Installed Correctly? Are you riding safely???

Posted on 10 October 2007 by Monica Zech

Are you and your family riding safely? Are you buying a new vehicle? Please check this Web Site first: it’s from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. This site includes crash tests and roll-over ratings, defects and recalls, and FAQs about air bags (including side air bags). Check this site regularly!

My question – “Are you and your family buckled up safely???”

  • For immediate help on safety carseat installations, scroll down to “The Resources”… following this are the laws and general information regarding safety carseats.

    *As a parent – are you always buckled up correctly? If you wear your seat belt – so will your child! But, is your child’s safety car seat installed correctly?

    Unfortunately studies show 96% of the safety car seats in use are not installed correctly! So the fatality rate is very high for children involved in car collisions.

    *Another fact – not all safety car seats fit all cars!

    *When buying a new safety car seat “always” send in the warranty cards in case of recalls. Don’t scrimp on your child’s safety – never buy a car seat from a garage sale or thrift store, or as a hand me down from a friend.

    Note: Remember, when buying a safety car seat you’re investing in your child’s safety & future!

  • (As of 9/24/05) – There is a new program in the East Region for families that receive Cal-Works. Infant, toddler or booster car seats can be provided to them with a voucher to get one at no cost at the Lemon Grove Target. PHN, Judith Hayes-Zavala is the liaison for this new car seat program so you can call her if you are interested or have questions. Her phone is # 619-441-6513.

    The Resources For Safety Carseat Installations…

    Here in San Diego County – to check and see if your carseat is installed correctly, “several people” have been trained to help install safety car seats to better protect your children. There are several resources to turn to for help. Not all car seats are used correctly.

    Did you know that you can have a trained technician check and show you how to install your child’s car seat?

    By appointment:

    El Cajon CHP 619-401-2000
    Pacific Highway CHP 619-220-5492
    Oceanside CHP 760-757-1675
    Temecula CHP 951-506-2000
    Escondido Police 760-839-4707
    La Mesa Police 619-667-1400
    Lemon Grove Sheriff 619-337-2000
    Bonita Fire Department 619-479-2346
    Solana Beach Fire Department 858-720-2410

    Saturday Events:
    San Diego Safe Kids Coalition 858-576-1700 x 5096

    Services for a fee:
    Safe Ridin Kidz 619-312-2045

    Car Seat Safe 619-379-7980

    *Additional resources that can help:

  • San Diego Safe Kids Coalition will check car seats and the number to reach a tech is 858-576-1700 x5096.

    Or, if you still have questions? Please contact:

    The EXPERT In Safety Car Seats In San Diego!

    Louise Nichols
    Nationally Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician/Instructor
    Ride Safer Now!

    858-673-1216 – home office voice
    858-673-4473 – home office fax

    Other Safety Resources:
    Click here for what’s new in Safety Car Seats and Recalls Also check their new 2004 “product” recall section…

    Or write:
    Safety Belt Safe U.S.A
    PO BOx 552
    Altadena, CA 91003
    Or call: 310-222-6860

    For Safety Car Seat information please call Children’s Hospital San Diego Safe Kids Coalition hotline at 858-576-1700, ext-5096, this is a recorded message with all of the locations that one can go to have their seats checked for proper installation. It lists all the locations that are current and active.

    Or call the Pacific Safety Council at (858) 621-2313 ext. 15, or ex. 16 or call 858-573-5089. Otherwise NHTSA’s website has an option to search by city or zip code to locate the closest fitting station.

  • Check this next site often for recalls or possible problems with safety car seats:

    Recalls On Products? As your family begins to use items received as holiday gifts, the National SAFE KIDS Campaign encourages you to visit to keep up with all the latest product recalls.

    Also Check:
    Car Seat Safety Program

    First – know the Law!!! Children 6 years old or 60 pounds must be in a child passenger safety seat!

    Infants should ride in rear-facing safety seats as long as possible, until they are 12 months old and weigh 20 pounds. Children, who are at least 1 year old, weigh 20 to 40 pounds, and can no longer ride rear-facing should ride in forward-facing child safety seats.

    Children over 40 pounds should be correctly secured in belt-positioning boosters or other appropriate child restraints until the adult lap and shoulder belts fit correctly (around age 8). Once the vehicle safety belts fit children, both lap and shoulder belts should be correctly used.

    All children ages 12 and under should always be properly restrained in the back seat every time, no matter how short the trip.

    All safety seats must be installed and used according to the manufacturer’s instructions and vehicle owner’s manual. READ YOUR MANUALS! You will be surprised at the information that is available to you.

  • Contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Auto Safety Hotline, (888) 327-4236, and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, (800) 638-2772 or, to inquire about any recalls or safety notices on child safety seats. When you purchase a new safety seat, return the product registration form provided to the manufacturer to ensure that you will be notified of any recalls.
  • Fines? Legislation (AB 1625), authored by Assemblyman John Benoit, allows penalty assessments and court costs to be added on top of a base fine. In essence, what previously cost $22.50 on a first offense will now run more than three times that amount. Drivers will also face penalties if passengers are not safely buckled.

    There are several exemptions, including cases where:

    *There are other children in the back seat
    *A restraint system cannot properly be installed
    *There is no rear seat
    *The rear seat is rear-facing or side-facing

    Infants less than one year of age or weighing less than 20 pounds must ride in the back, no exceptions, if there is an active passenger air bag in the front seat. A first offense is punishable by a fine of $100; second offenses will cost $250 (Vehicle Code: section 27360.5). Remember – the life of your child is priceless!

  • It’s simple – “Buckle-UP – it’s a snap!!!” Research shows if you buckle-up your children will buckle-up! As emergency agencies, almost daily we see how wearing a seat restraint increases your chances of survival in a car collision. It’s being prepared for the “un-expected”! And it’s the LAW! A law that’s saving lives! Possibly your life or that of a love one.

    The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) would like to take this opportunity to remind pediatricians and parents of the AAP recommendations for safe transportation of children.

    Infants should ride in rear-facing child safety seats until they have reached both 20 pounds AND one year of age. The AAP recommends keeping children rear-facing to the highest weight or height allowed by their car safety seat’s manufacturer. Never place a rear-facing car safety seat in front of an air bag.

    Children who have outgrown their rear-facing seats should ride in forward-facing car safety seats for as long as the child fits well (eg, ears below the top of the back of the seat and shoulders below the seat strap slots).

    Children who have outgrown their child safety seats but are too small to wear seat belts properly should ride in booster seats. For more information about safe transportation of children who have outgrown their car safety seats, please see the February 5, 1999 issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

    Seat belts fit properly when they can be worn with the lap portion of the belt low and tight across the hips, and the shoulder portion across the shoulders without cutting across the face and neck.

    Remember that all children are safest in the back seat.

    Additional Contact Information:
    The Pacific Safety Council
    9880 Via Pasar #F
    San Diego, CA 92126
    Or call directly: (888) 846-4200- toll-free
    (858) 689-0040 Fax


  • Sadly – An example of what can happen if you or your child is not buckled up or buckled up correctly:

    Holiday Highway Crash – LAST UPDATE: 7/5/2004 7:27:02 PM

    An unrestrained baby boy who was thrown from an SUV in a crash in Chula Vista died Monday, and his aunt, also ejected from the vehicle, was hospitalized, along with the boy’s sister and mother, who were also injured in the accident.

    The crash on northbound Interstate 805, south of state Route 54, happened just before 8 last night, California Highway Patrol Officer Mark Gregg said.

    The family members, from Inglewood, were headed home from the Tijuana Airport, where they picked up a family member, Gregg said. The driver drifted off the road, over-corrected and lost control of the 2003 Ford Expedition, he said.

    “All I remember was the car zig-zagging,” said Esmeralda Ramos, 26, who suffered a broken arm in the crash.

    Her baby, four-month-old Wilbert Ramos died at Children’s Hospital about 1:25 a.m., medical examiner Investigator Michael Ellano said.

    He and his mother were sitting in the middle row of the SUV, he said.

    Ramos said the child was restrained in a car seat, which she said was tied down.

    Ramos said she had to be extricated from the SUV.

    “My head hurts and my hands and I feel very tired and sleepy,” Ramos said in a telephone interview.

    Ramos’ daughter — five-year-old Valerie — broke both her legs in the crash and was taken to Children’s Hospital, Ramos said.

    “They told me she’s being released today,” Ramos said from her hospital bed.

    “She’s coming to see me before she goes home,” Ramos added.

    Ramos’ sister, Maritza Felix, 27, was thrown out the back window, said Ramos.

    Felix suffered a broken shoulder and had internal bleeding, according to Ramos.

    Felix was listed in fair condition at Sharp Memorial Hospital.

    The other passengers in the vehicle suffered minor to moderate injuries, Gregg said. Alcohol was not suspected in the crash, he said.

    The family was headed to pick up Felix’s mother-in-law, Ramos said


    Facts about Safety Seats:

    Motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of injuries and death for children.

    When used correctly, child safety seats can reduce fatal injuries in cars by 71 percent for infants and 54 percent for children from age 1-4.

    More than 97 percent of child safety seats are NOT used correctly.

    Safety Seat Guide

    Infants must ride in rear-facing (facing toward the back of the car) safety seats until they are at least 1 year AND weigh 20 pounds.

    Toddlers that are over 1 year and over 20 pounds should ride in a forward-facing child safety seat.

    Young children that are over 40-60 pounds should ride in a forward-facing, belt positioning booster seat.

    The best place to put your child is in the back seat of your car. All children age 12 and under should ALWAYS ride in the back seat.

    From Buckle Up San Diego – When going to a Child Safety Seat Checkup:

    Your child is precious cargo! Custom safety seat checks are very thorough and require time. Trained checkers teams require a minimum of 30-45 minutes per seat. We suggest that you come early and be prepared for a wait. We distribute numbers when you check in due to the time required. Plan to let us know how many seats and children you want checked. Many children arrive in seat belts that should be in belt positioning boosters. We will provide guidance on correct fit criteria for children who have outgrown child safety seats.

    When you come to a checkup, please bring your safety seat instruction booklet and the vehicle owners’ manual if possible.

    *Not every child safety seat is appropriate for every child, works correctly in every vehicle or seating position or with the many types of seat belts and retractors.

    Basic information about correct installation and use of child safety seats including boosters, seat belts, air bags and more can be sent to you, if you provide some important information. Every situation, child, vehicle, belt system are different so we need to know the following:

    Your name (spell it please if calling)
    Mailing address
    Age and weight of all children involved
    Due date if pregnant

    From each car seat/booster: Manufacturer name, model name, mftr model number, mftr date. The mftr model number and mftr date are found on a stamped sticker on the back, bottom, or side of each car seat.

    Vehicle make, model, year, 2 or 4 door, air bags…driver/passenger/side-impact.

  • Remember to provide all the necessary information. These details can make a difference in your child’s life!!! Don’t forget to always wear your seat belt and be a good safety role model for your children.
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