in their car seats, ready to go home – _MG_1962 (Photo credit: sean dreilinger)
Last night, two parents in Orange County got a scary lesson in car seat safety. Their 4-year-old boy was ejected through the rear window after the father swerved to avoid a tire tread, lost control of the SUV, and crashed into a concrete wall on the side of I-5. Fortunately, he landed in a bed of ice plant nearly 20 feet away instead of on concrete and suffered only scratches and bruises. California Highway Patrol officer Stacy Willits told the Orange County Register that the outcome is ‘[an] absolute miracle for him and his parents.’ CHP officers are investigating whether the car seat had been properly installed.
Research shows that 7 out of 10 child safety seats are not installed correctly.
-Department of Motor Vehicles
How to Correctly Install Your Child Safety Seat
Always place it in the back seat.
Ensure that seatbelt straps or tethers are tight.
Check and remove any twists in the seatbelt straps.
Make sure the base of the car seat is at the right incline angle.
Securing Your Child
Place the child with his or her back and bottom flat against the car seat.
Check that carrier straps are tight. If using a harness clip, ensure that it is even with the baby’s shoulders or armpits.
Place coats and blankets over the harness after you’ve buckled your child in the seat.
Make sure there are no twists in the harness strap and that they’re snug, with no more than one finger’s slack.
These are just a few guidelines. Visit the DMV’s website for a more complete list of tips.
Have Your Seat Checked
Despite how common it is to improperly install child safety seats, most parents are confident they have done the job correctly. To be safe, always visit a Child Safety Seat Inspection Station.
All of us at Allen, Flatt, Ballidis, and Leslie are glad that the toddler escaped this accident without suffering serious trauma.
Additional articles on traffic safety are available to the public free of charge through our office. To request one of these resources, please call 888-752-7474 or contact us online.