As a parent, there is nothing worse than your child getting hurt, or worse, losing a child. Safe Kids Douglas County is a nonprofit organization working to help families and communities keep kids safe from injuries. Most people are surprised to learn preventable injuries are the #1 killer of kids in the United States. Throughout the world, almost one million children die of an injury each year, and almost every one of these tragedies is preventable. We are part of an extensive network of more than 400 coalitions in the United States and with partners in more than 30 countries to reduce traffic injuries, drownings, falls, burns, poisonings and more.
Losing one child is one too many, and we don’t want any parent to have to endure the loss of a child. We’re calling on everyone in Douglas County to come together, to raise awareness and to get involved. Saving lives is a decision we can all make every day. Follow us on Facebook @SafeKidsDouglasCounty to stay connected and share our message with your friends.
Safe Kids Worldwide has helped reduce the U.S. childhood death rate from unintentional injury by 57 percent. If we continue to work together, we can do much more to make sure those bumps and bruises don’t turn into more disabling injuries and deaths.
Any new parent or soon-to-be parents can probably tell you how overwhelming it is to pick out a car seat – there are a lot of choices! Plus you have to understand car seat lingo and know the height and weight of your child. Luckily, Safe Kids Worldwide has put together an AWESOME resource. The Ultimate Car Seat Buying Guide! This is a great place to start your car seat research before heading to the store or shopping online.
Learn all the basics about the different types of car seats, what the different parts of a car seat are, and what to look for when you start shopping. Maybe your child has reached the maximum weight or height limit listed on the label? Do you think they are ready to change from rear-facing to forward-facing? Not so fast!?! You want to keep your child in a rear-facing seat for as long as possible. If you are in a front-end crash (the most common type of crash) a rear-facing car seat allows your child’s head, neck, and spine to move evenly into the seat, not away from it. It’s the best!
Installing your car seat takes time! Remember to read the owner manuals for both your vehicle and your car seat. If you would like help installing your car seat, Safe Kids Douglas County usually offers three or four car seat checks per month. To make an appointment, go to LMH Health. A Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician will inspect your car seat and help you learn how to install the car seat yourself.
Every passenger in a moving vehicle must use some form of harness for protection in case of a crash.
A properly-fitted 5-point harness gives the best possible protection for your child. A 5-point harness has straps that go over both shoulders and both hips and then buckles at the crotch. The car seat label will tell you the weight and height range of the harness. Check regularly to make sure your child hasn’t outgrown it. A seat belt is also a type of harness and is used on older children in booster seats.
Keeping a child safe is a parent’s biggest priority and concern. It’s easy to get out of the habit of making sure everyone is buckled safely for every ride. We are all in this together. Ask for help or if you are looking for more information about car seat safety, please check out healthychildren.org by the American Academy of Pediatrics.