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Children’s Hospital Colorado recognizes Child Passenger Safety Week

Children's Hospital Colorado recognizes Child Passenger Safety Week

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., (KRDO) -- For National Child Passenger Safety Week, Children's Hospital Colorado is raising awareness of the importance of child safety in car seats.

According to Children Hospital Colorado, children should stay in each stage as long as possible for maximum protection. Some top installation misuses include installing a car seat too loosely, or with an unlocked seat belt and using both seat belt and lower anchor connectors when not allowed by the child restraint.

Experts suggest the chest retainer clip should be right at armpit level. As for top booster misuses, experts say the high back booster seat has not been adjusted to the proper height for a child or the seat belt is routed incorrectly around the booster seat's armrests or belt guides.

The Children's Hospital Colorado does car seat checks for the community and helps with fittings for children who need medical/adaptive car seats.

Below are some tips from Children’s Hospital Colorado experts on child passenger safety:

  • All cars and car seats are different; read the car seat and vehicle manuals and meet with a child passenger safety technician.
  • Colorado law requires infants to ride in a rear-facing car seat in a rear seat of the vehicle seat until they are 1 year old and weigh at least 20 pounds.
  • The hospital recommends continuing to rear-face for several years. Many car seats can be used rear-facing until your child weighs 40 to 50 pounds. This will include virtually all children under age two and most children up to age 4. Rear-facing seats offer the best protection during a crash because the whole body (head, neck, and torso) is cradled by the back of the safety seat in a frontal crash. They also protect a baby better in other types of crashes, particularly side impact crashes.
  • By state law, you must restrain your 1- to 4-year-old child and any child under 40 pounds in a car seat with a five-point harness system, which features two shoulder straps, two hip straps, and a buckle strap.
  • We recommend continued use of a harness car seat until it is outgrown by height or weight. A five-point harness system has more places to distribute crash forces and offers better protection than a lap and shoulder belt.
  • Always use the upper-tether strap (the long pieces of seat belt material with a clip on the end located on the top back of a car seat) for all forward-facing car seats according to the vehicle owner's manual and child restraint manufacturer's instructions.
  • Law requires children between the ages of 4 and 8 years old to ride in a child restraint. This can be a five-point harness child safety seat for younger children or a booster that uses the vehicle's lap and shoulder seat belt as kids get older and bigger. Most children will need a booster seat for several years longer than the law requires for a safe seat belt fit.
  • Children should be in a belt-positioning booster in the back seat until they can use a seat belt that fits correctly, typically between ages 10-12 and around 57” tall. Studies have shown the use of booster seats can reduce the risk of injury by 59% compared to seat belts alone. Keep your child in a booster until:
  • The shoulder belt of the car's seat belt crosses their shoulder and chest (not their neck).
  • The lap belt crosses their upper thighs (not their abdomen).
  • Their knees bend at the edge of the back seat and their feet touch the floor.
  • They can stay seated like this for the entire trip.
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