Car Seat Safety and Educational Awareness Programs


This research paper is about car seat safety which would highlight the safety procedures and recommendations needed to be taken care of, along with the accidents in which children have got injured due to lack of car seat safety. This research paper would also present awareness to parents regarding car seat safety, how different models of car seats fit differently in each car, how does lack of car seat safety create problems, and what age and weight limits are needed to be followed.

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Car Seat Safety

Riding in a vehicle and driving around with family and friends is always delightful and enchanting, but this needs to be secure and protective enough for the passengers sitting in the car. As compared to adults; children are more prone to accidents and serious injuries because they cannot defend themselves from accidents, car crashes, or injuries, and this is why suitable and safe procedures for riding in cars are needed to be followed by the parents and guardians for their children safety. From many of the serious elements, one major factor is to ensure child safety through secure car seat safety. There are different types of car seats available for children of different ages so that they could travel more comfortably without any fear of crashes, accidents, or injury. In short, a car safety seat contributes to the security, health, welfare, and comfort of the child (Murkoff, Eisenberg, Hathaway 138).

In many countries, car safety seats are legally required for children up to the age of 2 or more for their safe journey and transportation. A car safety seat is basically a set of comfortable and secures seating arrangements for the child in the automobile, which is installed in the back seat of the car separately. Car seat safety adds to the safety and welfare of the child, so that not only they could travel along with their parents comfortably without disturbing or distracting their parents’ attention from the roadside, but also could enjoy a secure ride while sitting at the backseat of the vehicle. This car seat is available at every car utility, baby store, or large departmental store; and can be installed very easily either from the store management or by reading the manual. Usually, a car seat is attached to the backseat strappingly so that it could protect the child from bumps, jumpy road disturbance, unstable road, accidents, or injuries (Smith 562).

Car safety seat is very important for every parent and guardians because it protects children and minimizes the effect of any accident or crash as much as possible. This is because of the fact that every year, almost 182,000 children of ages 1-14 are killed or injured very seriously in road accidents because either they were not protected with car safety seats, or their car safety seats were not installed properly enough to protect them. This includes more than one-fourth (1/4th) of injuries for children under the age of 4 years. 75 percent of automobile accidents and car crashed happened within the 25 miles area of home. In addition, 60 percent of car crashes occurred on roads with allowed speed limits of 40 mph or even less. This ratio can easily be reduced to 71 percent in total if proper safety precautions are being followed, and car safety seat or booster is installed in the car (Reich 205).

Educational Programs Increases Parents’ Awareness

(Nichols and Sears 12) Educational programs play a vital role in creating understanding and awareness regarding certain matters. The main motive of these communities and institutes is to create a safe community, country and strengthen individuals and families. One of the major issues at present is the use of car safety seats for children to minimize the effects of roadside accidents and car crashes. For this purpose, many NGOs, communities, institutes, companies and social networks along with the help of governing bodies (responsible for highway and traffic safety patrol countrywide) set ahead certain educational programs, presentations, events, seminars and exhibitions which highlight the importance of child safety and car safety seats. The main objective of these educational programs and seminars is to make parents realize regarding their social and personal responsibilities towards their child safety. These programs also focus on the education of parents on proper use and installation of child safety seats. These programs also provide free car seat inspections, product recall checks, informative literature and document, and installation guidance to the parents so that they could deal with the apparatus and parts of the car safety seats for minor help on their own and could seek the help of other technicians for major work.

These educational programs are very necessary for the parents to attend because most of the parents does not know how to install the car safety seats properly in the automobiles and when checked, they were helped a lot in learning those tactics and procedures through which traveling of children could be made more comfortable and trouble-free. Some of the educational institutes also provide the parents with car safety seats free of cost, if they are not eligible and capable enough financially to buy it (Worzbyt 200).

All in one, these educational programs and seminars have helped to reduce the amount of misuse of car safety seats or seat-belts, and also reduced automobile related accidents, injuries and deaths to huge extents. Apart form that, these communities and institutes help in providing education regarding stressing precautionary, life saving measures through ongoing child passenger safety procedures.

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Age, Weight Limits, Types and General Information of Car Safety Seats

No matter how much money parents do spend on their baby’s wish list, the item of car safety seat remains number one in case of traveling and this expense starts right from the moment when the baby is transferred from hospital to home. There are many car safety seats available in the marketplace and parents are required to purchase the right model for their child so that it could help them and their child in the future.

In this section, different kind of car safety seats would be discussed for children belonging to different age groups along with the general guidelines; age and weight limit knowledge required for choosing and installing. These different types of car safety seats for children are listed and explained in the following:

Infant-Only / Rear-Facing Convertible

Also known as “bucket-seats”; Infant-only or rear-facing convertible car seat is for infants only until they are 1 year old. This type of car safety seat is suitable for the infants with minimum 4 pounds and 22 to 30 pounds of weight maximum. It is designed in such a way that it distributes the restraining forces from the child’s head and body exclusive of its limbs in any case of frontal collision or accidental car crash. These car safety seats enable parents to carry their babies easily inside and out of the vehicle without disturbing the baby because it is detachable and can be installed in every model of the car. It is advisable to always place the infant seat in the backseat, and never to be placed in the front portion of the car because it is not safe for the baby. The infant seat acts as a cocoon for the baby in the back portion of the car and safely carries the baby comfortably. Other advantages of using infant seat include portability, ease of use and child safety for sure (Craven and Hirnle 674).

Convertible / Combination / Forward-Facing

This kind of seat is for the toddlers or preschoolers and is used when the baby is grown up a little and no longer fits in the infant cars seat. Convertible, combination or forward-facing seats are best suitable for the children who are 1 year old and weighs at least 20 pounds. The weight limit is 5 to 35 pounds for convertible seats (which can be installed either rear facing or forward facing), 22 to 65 pounds maximum for combination seats, and 22 to 80 pounds for forward-facing seats. These seats exists for longer period and are very flexible in nature because they are designed for growing children and can bear a lot of weight as compared to the infant seats. Even, if the fittings of the seat seem uncomfortable and loose for the child, it is advisable to use blanket or padded head bumper for the baby so that the child could feel comfortable in the vehicle while traveling with parents or caretakers (GHI 367).


Boosters are for the school-aged children who have outgrown their forward-facing car safety seats. They are recommended for the children for whom they can play the role of a “booster” and allow the seat belt to set tightly across the collar bone and chest, with the lap fraction fitted to the hips side. Booster seats are suitable for the little grown-up children because it is designed to raise the child up a bit so that child’s laps and shoulders can be buckled up with the seat belts present already in the automobiles. The weight limits for boosters usually starts from three years of age, while the weight limit is from 30 to 100 pounds maximum (Farber 224).

Seat Belts

There are no car safety seats available for older children because they have grown up enough to be carried away while using the seat belts for adults. Usually, the age for children using seat belts starts between 8 to 12 years of age.

Common Mistakes Made by Parents while Carrying Children in Cars

The most common and dangerous mistakes made by parents usually while carrying their children in the automobiles are listed as under (Adolph 89-117):

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  • Lack of knowledge regarding the car safety seats
  • Not using car safety seats frequently and consistently for child safety
  • Using secondhand or old car safety seat
  • Not installing the car safety seat in the automobile properly
  • Transferring the child to the front or forward-facing seat too soon
  • Transferring the child to the booster seat too soon
  • Incorrect use or lack of use of locking chip
  • Not securing the child in the automobile correctly and safely
  • Holding the child on lap instead of car safety seat
  • Letting the child sit in the front seat too soon
  • Letting two children share one seat belt

Common Points to Remember for Child Safety before Using Car Safety Seat

There are some points listed in the following which should be remember by the parents before using the car safety seats for their children safety and protection:

  • Make sure that the car safety seat is installed and fitted in the car properly
  • When it is permissible and advisable to shift the child from rear-facing position to front-facing position car seat in the automobile
  • Proper slotting and positioning should be remember well when harness are threatened while turning convertible seat to front-facing seat
  • The right time for shifting the child from preschooler seat to booster should be followed well
  • Is it safe and advisable to let the child travel in the back seat with a single shoulder belt
  • The right tie should be kept in mind when the child could travel in the car without a booster seat
  • The right age for the child should be followed when he or she would be allowed legally to ride in the front seat
  • Position of air bags should be checked regularly
  • The car safety seats should be checked and inspected regularly from the correspondent department
  • Never let the child travel on an adult’s lap
  • Never leave the child alone in the car, even if he or she is buckled up with belts
  • Never let two children travel by sharing single seat belt
  • Read the instruction manual and attend technician session before installing the car safety seat personally

Works Cited

Heidi Eisenberg Murkoff, Arlene Eisenberg, Sandee Eisenberg Hathaway, Sharon Mazel; 2003, What to Expect the First Year, Published by Workman Pub., p138.

Jennifer Bright Reich, 2007, The Babyproofing Bible: The Exceedingly Thorough Guide to Keeping Your Child Safe from Crib to Kitchen to Car to Yard, Published by Fair Winds, p205.

Jane Case-Smith, 2005, Occupational Therapy for Children, Published by Elsevier Mosby, p562.

Judy Nichols, Lori D. Sears; 2007, Storytimes for Two-year-olds, Published by ALA Editions, p12.

John C. Worzbyt, 2004, Teaching Kids to Care and to be Careful: A Practical Guide for Teachers, Counselors, and Parents, Published by Rowman & Littlefield, p200.

Ruth F. Craven, Constance J. Hirnle; 2006, Fundamentals of Nursing: Human Health and Function, Published by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, p674.

Good Housekeeping Institute (GHI), From the Editors of Good Housekeeping, Good Housekeeping Institute; 2005, The Complete Household Handbook: The Best Ways to Clean, Maintain & Organize Your Home, Published by Hearst Books, p367.

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Elaine Farber, 2007, Baby Lists: What to Do and What to Get to Prepare for Baby, Published by Adams Media, p224.

Karen E. Adolph, 2000, Learning in the Development of Infant Locomotion, Published by Blackwell Publishing, p89-117.

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