A Brush Up On Car Seat Safety
by Breanna Fuss, Reporter
February 18, 2013 5:23 PM
Officials said car seats played a big role in saving lives during a deadly crash in Sioux Falls. Three children sustained only minor injuries and authorities said it was due to properly installed car seats.
We’ve all heard them, ‘click it or ticket,’ and ‘buckle up somebody needs you.’ But for young children it’s not up to them; it’s up to us to make sure they are buckled up properly.
"If their not secured in it correctly, like seat belts, or the straps are too loose, or are in the wrong spot, they can still fly out of them,” said Conley Orth, Sioux Falls Fire Rescue.
Orth is one of many firefighters certified in car seat safety. He said the first step is making sure that seat is nice and tight.
“There's usually pictures on the seat and in the owners manual of where you run the belt. So I know for a fact this one, the belt path for when it is facing forward is going to be through the back here,” Orth said.
Once the belt is clicked in, it’s time to make sure it’s secure.
“You sometimes have to pull the belt all the way through and when you pull it back you should hear that ratcheting, and that's what will make the belt catch if it needs too,” explained Orth.
He said if it moves less than an inch when you move it side to side it’s good. And when it comes to buckling your child, Orth has a few quick tips.
“To make sure these belts are tight, there is a couple ways of doing it,” said Orth. “If you can get more than one finger width between the child and the belt its too loose.”
There is also something he calls the ‘pinch test.’
“If you pinch the belt and you can actually grab some like this it’s too loose. But it’s in their tight enough if you go to grab it and you can't get enough,” said Orth.
He also said make sure shoulder straps come at or above the child’s shoulders. And there is one more thing seats should always be level.
“If this was tipped way too far forward, then the kids practically falling out,” explained Orth. “Or if it is rear facing and you have it to far this way, then baby is almost falling out.”
Just a few things you can do to make sure your little one is safe and secure the next time you travel.
Officials with Sioux Falls Fire Rescue said a child shouldn’t sit in the front seat until they are over the age of 13.
If you would like help or have questions about your child’s car seat, every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. firefighters at station three are available to check seats.