• Keep Kids Safe in the Backseat

    October 2, 2016

    Learn the right ways to keep kids safe in the backseat

    iStock-875222380.jpgThe No. 1 way to keep children safe all year long is to make sure they’re properly secured while riding in a vehicle. Auto accidents are the most prevalent cause of death for kids younger than 12 in the U.S. Follow these tips from the National Highway Traffi c Safety Administration*:

    Birth to 2 years
    Use a rear-facing car seat until they are two or until they reach the height and weight limit for the seat.

    2 to 8 years
    Secure them in a forward-facing car seat with a harness. Once they outgrow it, switch to a booster seat.

    8 to 12 years
    Children should use a booster seat until a seat belt can fi t them properly, and they shouldn’t ride in the front seat until age 13.

    *These guidelines are subject to car seat brand, type of seat, type of car and current regulations.

    “While we have made great strides in child passenger safety, the majority of car seats are not being used correctly,” says Stefany Scharf, certifi ed car seat technician, Bassett Medical Center. “An initiative of Bassett and Otsego County Safe Kids is to always ensure the car seat is the right seat, in the right place, facing the right direction, properly installed.”

    Having your child’s car seat correctly installed is a great start to ensure your child’s safety. It is also important to never leave a child alone in the car. Since 1998, more than 660 children in the U.S. have died from being trapped in a hot car, averaging 37 deaths a year. When the sun is out, the inside of a car can quickly become much hotter than the temperature outside, and kids are at great risk for heatstroke because a child’s body heats up three to fi ve times faster than an adult’s.

    “It’s good to remember the acronym, ACT—Avoid—Create reminders— Take action,” says Paul Campbell, RN, trauma program manager at Bassett Medical Center. “If you see a child alone in a car, reach out to 911. Your call could save a life.”

    Avoid heatstroke-related injury or death by never leaving your child alone in a car, not even for a minute. Also, keep your car locked, so kids cannot get into it and become trapped.

    Create reminders to remember you have a passenger. Put something in the seat next to your child, such as a briefcase or purse or cellphone, that is needed at your fi nal destination.

    Take action. If you see a child alone in a vehicle, call 911.