5 tips for buckling up your child’s car seat

Child car seat

Help keep your kids safe as you take your summer road trips

Placing your child in a car seat for the first time can be a scary activity for a parent, and many parents get it wrong. Cinncinati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and Toyota are teaming up on a new program called “Buckle Up for Life” to offer car seat safety tips ahead of the summer road trip season. These 5 simple steps can help make sure you’re strapping in correctly.

1. Use the “Pinch Test” and the “Inch Test”. Pinch the car seat strap near the child’s shoulder. If you can gather the fabric, tighten the strap until it is snug. For the “Inch Test”, move the car seat side to side and front to back. If the seat moves more than an inch, tighten it.

2. Don’t add anything between your child and the seat. Putting a pillow, blanket or towel between your child and the seat could potentially harm your child.

3. Let the seat cool down before buckling child in. Car seats can get hot in the summer. It is better to let them cool down before placing your child in the seat. Check to make sure the seat is comfortable for the child; if the surface is hot, open the windows or turn on the air conditioner. Also, and this should go without saying, NEVER leave your children in the car alone, especially in hot conditions.

4. Don’t rent a car seat. Important information like the expiration date and crash history may not be available for a car seat you are renting. Buying a highly rated and well-reviewed seat is an investment in your child’s safety.

5. Secure loose items inside the car. Packaging all your traveling essentials in safe, secure places will prevent objects from flying everywhere in case of a crash.

Car crashes are the leading cause of death for children ages 1 to 13. Don’t let your kiddo be a statistic. For more information and safety tips, check out the “Buckle Up for Life” website.

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