Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Do you need a car seat?

My husband has said for years that he doesn't trust statistics. "Statistics," he says, "can be skewed any way you wish to prove whatever point you wish to make." We came to blows over 'statistics' when it came to deciding to keep our son rear-facing - a discussion I am very pleased to say that resulted in our son rear-facing to the full 33lbs rear-facing weight capacity of his seat (and beyond his 4th birthday).

Today, Good Morning America did a piece on the new book 'SuperFreakonomics' and highlighted one of this pair of gentlemen's contentions that a 2 year old fairs no better in a seatbelt alone than when using a car seat. Firstly, let's get beyond the sensationalism of that statement and deconstruct what the actual message this pair makes. I don't want to rework some of the fantastic work already done by Darren of Carseatblog.com on this piece and I will cut right to the chase on this subject.

The bottom line on this discussion is that upwards of 85% of car seats are installed or used incorrectly - the video piece in GMA proves my point so eloquently and I am sure, unintentionally, showing an infant seat using a JJ Cole BundleMe and a child in a puffy winter jacket, chest clips positioned too low that they will not keep a harness on your child's shoulders in a crash, and children with seatbelts cutting across their necks. All classic examples of misuse. The real issue at hand is how to ensure that our children are restrained in their seats correctly (whether that restraint be a car or booster seat), and that their child restraint be correctly installed.

There are resources available to parents to help you do this - make an appointment with your local child passenger safety technician TODAY - don't put it on your 'to do' list. Between today and when you get to making the appointment, that crash (which could result in serious injuries, or worse) can happen. These people are trained to assist you and volunteer their time and effort to helping YOU learn how to correctly install and use your restraint.

Ensure at your appointment with your technician that you KNOW how to correctly install your seat. The last person to install the car seat and to secure your child in their restraint should be YOU - not the technician. Do not leave the appointment until you are comfortable with your skills. If you have follow up questions at a later time, contact the technician. They will LOVE to answer them for you.

The foundation will always answer your questions about installation or usage. We have a team of advisory technicians on staff who love to help you keep your children safe. Email us at info@kyledavidmiller.org today. We are here to help!

Interesting thought on this sensationalist piece.....did anyone ask these gentlemen how they restrained their children when they were 2 years old? Mmmmmm......thought not! ;) Don't believe the hype.
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