Doing this can reduce children’s risk of injury by 70%

Download and share this handy car seat reference to keep kids safer.

Written By Beth Ann Burkey Lombardi. Infographic Designed by Angela McKool

Using the right car seat lowers the risk of death or serious injury to children by more than 70 percent, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.

“Car crashes are the number one cause of death for young children because, thankfully, most young children are healthy, which means accidents and injuries (not illnesses) are their greatest risks,” said pediatrician Elise Branca, MD, of Cape Cod Pediatrics in Harwich.

New guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics now recommend children remain in a rear-facing car seat as long as possible, until they reach the highest weight or height allowed by their seat. “Previously, they said children should remain rear-facing at least until age two. The new recommendation removes the specific age milestone,” Dr. Branca said.

Download this handy reference from Cape Cod Healthcare, share it on social media and spread the word about ways to help reduce children’s risk of injury!

Car Seats and Booster Seats Can Prevent Tragedies

“A child riding rear-facing has more support for the head, neck and spine by a car seat than a child riding forward-facing,” said Dr. Branca. “When a child is forward-facing in an accident, the harness straps restrain the child, but the head might be thrown forward—resulting in neck injury.”

The transition from car seat to booster seat varies by the weight and height of the child, she said. Children who are 4 feet 9 inches tall and are 8 to 12 years old are ready for booster seats, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines. Booster seats make it comfortable and safer for children to ride when using seatbelts that are typically designed for adults.

“All children younger than 13 should ride in the back seat for optimal protection,” Dr. Branca said.

Never, EVER Leave Children Alone in a Car

Each year 37 children die each year in hot cars just because they have been forgotten, according to Consumer Reports. LOOK BEFORE YOU LOCK! Never leave children alone in a vehicle, not even for a minute!