Thursday, January 21, 2010

Car Safety

Reminder - not only do you need to put your baby in a proper restraint when driving, adults in the car need to buckle up too.

Several important reasons for this:
  • You will be safer and reduce the risk your children may be orphaned
  • Your child learns by example and seeing you buckle up EVERY TIME will show your child that this is important
  • You don't want to be the flying object that harms your child in an accident
  • If you are pregnant, you could save the life of your unborn baby (estimates are 200 per year would be saved in this country with correct and consistent seatbelt use)
You may have wondered if pregnant women should buckle up. Yes! preferably with a combination lap/shoulder belt. The lap belt should be across your hips, below the abdomen and as high as possible over the thighs. The shoulder belt should cross between the breasts and to the side of the abdomen; snug, but not directly across your stomach. Some seat belts are adjustable to allow correct use.

Air bags should not be turned off in pregnancy. To be safe, you should move the seat back as far as possible and tilt the seat to get some distance between your belly and the steering wheel or dashboard and you still need a seatbelt, even with air bags.

Click the post title to read more about safe traveling from

Remember that infant car seats must be no older than five years. (corrected by Safe Kids Utah ~ 6 years). The reason is that the plastic breaks down with temperature extremes and even minor impact accidents and they are not as sturdy and safe after this expiration date. See comments below and check out the website for Safe Kids Utah for more information.

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  1. Safe Kids Utah does NOT recommended buying a used car seat. Not only does the expiration date matter on car seats, but it is very important to NEVER use a car seat that has been in a crash before... even a tiny fender bender. There is no way to know if the integrity of the car seat has been compromised and there may be damage to a seat, even if it was just a small crash and there are no visible cracks/damage. Buying used car seats will not guarantee that they are safe, as they may have been in a crash previously. Simply put, if you want your infant to be in the safest place possible, ALWAYS use a new car seat, place them in the back seat (rear facing,) and get your car seat inspected for FREE by your local health department or Safe Kids Coalition. These organizations have certified car seat technicians who can help you make sure your seat is installed correctly and your baby is safe in your car. Car seat checks can be found by visiting: or the National CPS Certification website.

  2. As a the director with Safe Kids Utah, I recently came across your blog. This is a great blog but I just wanted to let you know of a few things that are listed as incorrect. First of all, most seats have an expiration date of at least 6 years (rather than 5). Every car seat has the expiration seat stamped into the plastic or on a label.

    Second of all, please do not recommend buying a used car seats. We teach against this. The reason why is that when you buy a used car seat, you don't know the history of the seat and if it's ever been involved in a crash. Anytime a car seat has been involved in a crash, the integrity of the seat is compromised and we recommend getting rid of that seat.

    I will be more than happy to offer you more information but wanted to make sure your readers are being offered correct advice. Please feel free to contact me at 801.538.6852 or by email at or check out our website at


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