Although Grandparents’ Day was commemorated Sept. 8, the Fayette County Safe Kids group and the Peachtree City Fire Department still are urging grandparents be more aware of the need to buckle up their grandchildren in an appropriate and correctly-installed car seat.
Car crashes are the leading cause of death and serious injury among children even when close to home and at low speeds, fire department officials said. Grandparents can help keep their grandchildren safe by using car seats designed for crash protection, unlike early models which focused on comfort and convenience.
In choosing the best car seat, the importance is that it fits the child, fits the vehicle and can be used correctly and consistently.
Grandparents who regularly care for their grandchildren should consider purchasing car seats for their vehicle. Grandparents who wish to have their grandchild’s car seat checked may do so by attending a free car seat inspection any 3rd Friday of the month between 10 a.m. and 1:30 pm. by setting up an appointment at 770-631-2588, ext. 5600, at the Peachtree City Fire Department, Station #81, located at 110 Paschal Road.
Keep these basic car seat safety tips in mind:
• All children under age 13 should be buckled up in the back seat. If it is too difficult to install a seat in the center of the back seat, try the passenger side of the back seat. NEVER put a rear-facing car seat in front of an active airbag. The back is safer for all children;
• Choose a car seat that fits both the child and the vehicle;
• Remember to refer to the car seat manufacturer’s instructions and the vehicle owner’s manual to ensure that the seat is being used and installed correctly;
• Avoid purchasing a second-hand seat. The seat history is usually unknown. Like helmets, child safety seats were designed only to protect in one crash. If given a seat, even with a known history, check to see that instructions are included, all parts are present and working properly. Be sure the seat has not been recalled (check at nhtsa.gov or carseat.org);
• Become familiar with the seat and practice putting it in the car before the grandchild arrives; and
• Refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for exact figures and directions on how to install and use the child safety seat.
Officials also urge all adults to wear their seat belt and serve as a positive role model.