Car seats are vital to a child’s health & safety but many of us are installing the seats incorrectly. Everything you’ve ever wanted to know about your child’s car seat or booster can be found here.
I do not have any children (unless you count my dog, Riggs, and I do but I don’t want to cause confusion here) so for the sake of this article, I will define my “parenthood” status solely by the raising a human being. So no, I am not a mother. I do, however, have seven nieces and nephews. They are the loves of my life and I feel pretty darn lucky to be their aunt.
On the occasions that I take one or two or three of them out to do something special, I keep my fingers crossed that I can borrow one of my sibling’s minivans. *And no, I have never taken all seven out at once because that would be a suicide mission. I hope for the Sienna in part because I LOVE it (I can discuss this at a later occasion on the blog, but real talk—the Sienna is one of the best vehicles in Toyota’s lineup) and also in part because I’m lazy and transferring car seats and/or boosters seats from one vehicle to another is a PAIN in the butt. The seats are large, awkward and so terribly difficult to install. I can remember one particularly frustrating experience in which I attempted to install my nephew’s car seat in my Corolla—the fiasco ended with me in tears after failing to find the metal anchor in the back seat cushion. Once it was pointed out to me, I was embarrassed that I couldn’t see it all along!
While the frustration of the installation might drive us all crazy, studies show over and over again that it is worth the fuss when it comes to the safety of a child. Unfortunately, many of us are installing or using our baby/booster car seats incorrectly, rendering their safety benefits practically useless. According to the CDC, ”Motor vehicle injuries are a leading cause of death to children in the United States.” These are preventable deaths. From the CDC:
Car seat use reduces the risk for death to infants (aged <1 year) by 71%; and to toddlers (aged 1–4 years) by 54% in passenger vehicles. Booster seat use reduces the risk for serious injury by 45% for children aged 4–8 years when compared with seat belt use alone. For older children and adults, seat belt use reduces the risk for death and serious injury by approximately half.
These statistics are staggering.