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Happy New Year…PLEASE take a moment, It can Save A Life!

Posted on January 1, 2015 by DC Thrifty Mom in Information, Notices and tagged with , , , ,

DC Thrifty Mom - car seat reminder

I am so grateful to be here to say HAPPY NEW YEAR! Right before Christmas, my family and I were traveling home when we were rear-ended. Thankfully, everyone survived this horrific accident.

On this first day of 2015, I want to remind you of the importance of child car seat safety. Having the age appropriate car seat installed and properly used is a MUST. Personally, I am a fan of Britax with the safecell complete side impact protection.  My 3-year-old was seated in the Advocate ClickTight Convertible Car Seat and my 8-year-old was in the Pinnacle ClickTight harness to booster, still using the harness. In my opinion, with the rear and side impact of this accident, these car seats made a huge difference in keeping their head and neck secure, ultimately reducing their injuries. The “National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recommends that child safety seats be replaced following a moderate or severe crash in order to ensure a continued high level of crash protection for child passengers.” Since our accident, I have purchased these replacements.

Another important reminder, you should regularly adjust your car seats. In June 2006, my husband and I were eagerly preparing for the birth of our first child and met Ms. Sylvia Perkins-Swain, a local child car seat expert with “Safe Kids”. She showed us the proper way to install the car seat, registered the seat to keep us informed of recalls, and reminded us to make adjustments as our little one grows. Now with two daughters and their varying growth spurts, I make routine visits to the car seat inspection station for adjustments to keep them safe. On Friday, October 10, 2014, I visited the DC Safe Kids location at TheArc because I thought it was time to adjust the seat for my 3-year-old. Ms. Perkins-Swain discovered that both car seats required adjustments. After this accident, I am very grateful I took time to check their car seats.

As parents, we might think our children are old enough to fasten themselves in their seat. Or, that they are big enough to be seated without a booster. Please take a moment to ensure that your child is in the correct car seat type (rear-facing, forward-facing, booster, or seat belt), that it is installed correctly, adjusted as needed, and finally that your child is securely in their seat. We never plan to be in an accident but these safeguards can “Save a Life!” Looking at the wreckage above, I believe it did for my daughters.

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death and injury for all children.  Child safety seats, or car seats, reduce the risk of injury by 71% to 82% and reduce the risk of death by 28% in comparison to children in seat belts alone.   Booster seats reduce the risk of nonfatal injuries by 45% among 4 to 8 year olds.

According to AAA, 3 out of 4 car seats are installed incorrectly; and 7 out of 10 kids in child safety seats are not properly buckled in. Here are the top three car seat mistakes AAA says parents are making every day:

#1: It’s not installed tightly enough

When you put in a seat, throw your whole weight into it with your knee and yank the belts that connect the seat to the car tight. The installed seat should not move more than an inch.

#2: The straps aren’t on right

Remember, kids need to be held tightly to that seat in a crash. The shoulder straps should be snug enough that you can’t pinch the strap at their shoulder. Make sure there are no twists, and the chest clip is up at armpit level.

#3: Upgrading your kid too soon

The rules of when to turn a seat around or when to stop using a booster seat are designed by pediatricians, not politicians. They know how kids’ bodies react in crashes.

Kids will need a booster seat until they’re 4’9″ — that’s typically age 8 to 12.

To help protect your kids, AAA has provided the top twelve car seat mistakes parents make.

For your convenience, I have listed some Washington DC child car seat inspection stations and the recommendations for the correct car seat types below. Please do me a favor, share this message with a friend or two and your parent groups/listservs. Let’s make 2015 a safe one!

Safe Kids Buckle Up

FREE Car Seat Inspection: DC Safe Kids–THEARC 1901 Mississippi Ave SE Washington, DC 20020 Every Friday, 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. 202-471-4886 Contact: Sylvia Perkins-Swain

Child Car Seat Inspection Stations

in Washington D.C.

Metropolitan Police –
Traffic Safety and Spec. Enforcement Branch
501 New York Ave NW
Washington, DC 20001
Please call for an appointment. 
202-437-8030    
Contact: Arlinda Page 

Gallaudet University
800 Florida Ave NE
Washington, DC 20002
202-651-5000    
Contact: Lawrence Curtis 

DC Safe Kids–Children’s National Medical Center
111 Michigan Ave NW
Washington, DC 20010
1st, 2nd, and 3rd Mondays of each month, 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. 
202-471-4886    
Contact: Sylvia Perkins-Swain 

Safe Kids–Providence Hospital
1150 Varnum St NE
Washington, DC 20017
1st/2nd/4th Tuesday–10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.every Wednesday–10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. 
202-471-4886    
Contact: Sylvia Perkins-Swain 

DC Safe Kids–THEARC
1901 Mississippi Ave SE
Washington, DC 20020
every Friday, 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. 
202-471-4886    
Contact: Sylvia Perkins-Swain 

DC DMV
1001 Half St SW
Washington, DC 20024
Tue and Wed: 7 am- 3pm
202-696-4667    
Contact: Larry Walker 

Find a child car seat inspection station nearest you here or call 1-866-SEAT-CHECK. Certified technicians will inspect your child car seat, in most cases, FREE OF CHARGE – and show you how to correctly install and use it.

 

According to Safercar.gov, a guide to the right car seat with age and size recommendations:

Rear-Facing Car Seat

Birth – 12 Months

Your child under age 1 should always ride in a rear-facing car seat. There are different types of rear-facing car seats:

  • Infant-only seats can only be used rear-facing.
  • Convertible and All-in-one car seats typically have higher height and weight limits for the rear-facing position, allowing you to keep your child rear-facing for a longer period of time.

1 – 3 Years

Keep your child rear-facing as long as possible. It’s the best way to keep him or her safe. Your child should remain in a rear-facing car seat until he or she reaches the top height or weight limit allowed by your car seat’s manufacturer. Once your child outgrows the rear-facing car seat, your child is ready to travel in a forward-facing car seat with a harness and tether.


Forward-Facing Car Seat

1 – 3 Years

Keep your child rear-facing as long as possible. It’s the best way to keep him or her safe. Your child should remain in a rear-facing car seat until he or she reaches the top height or weight limit allowed by your car seat’s manufacturer. Once your child outgrows the rear-facing car seat, your child is ready to travel in a forward-facing car seat with a harness and tether.

4 – 7 Years

Keep your child in a forward-facing car seat with a harness and tether until he or she reaches the top height or weight limit allowed by your car seat’s manufacturer. Once your child outgrows the forward-facing car seat with a harness, it’s time to travel in a booster seat, but still in the back seat.


Booster Seat

4 – 7 Years

Keep your child in a forward-facing car seat with a harness and tether until he or she reaches the top height or weight limit allowed by your car seat’s manufacturer. Once your child outgrows the forward-facing car seat with a harness, it’s time to travel in a booster seat, but still in the back seat.

8 – 12 Years

Keep your child in a booster seat until he or she is big enough to fit in a seat belt properly. For a seat belt to fit properly the lap belt must lie snugly across the upper thighs, not the stomach. The shoulder belt should lie snugly across the shoulder and chest and not cross the neck or face. Remember: your child should still ride in the back seat because it’s safer there.


Seat Belt

8 – 12 Years

Keep your child in a booster seat until he or she is big enough to fit in a seat belt properly. For a seat belt to fit properly the lap belt must lie snugly across the upper thighs, not the stomach. The shoulder belt should lie snugly across the shoulder and chest and not cross the neck or face. Remember: your child should still ride in the back seat because it’s safer there.

This test, from  the DC Metropolitan Police Department, is a quick and easy way to determine if a booster seat is needed.

  • Does the child sit all the way back against the back of the auto seat?
  • Do the child’s knees bend comfortably at the front edge of the auto seat?
  • Does the lap belt cross the child’s shoulder between the neck and the arms?
  • Is the lap portion of the lap/shoulder belt as low as possible, touching the thighs?
  • Can the child stay seated like this for the entire trip?

If you have answered “no” to any of these questions, your child needs a booster seat to ride safely in the car.

Related Resources

Happy New Year

Let’s Make 2015 a Safe One!

*****

Connect with DC Thrifty Mom

DCThriftyMom

6 Responses so far.

  1. Constance says:
    A picture says a thousand words! Is that really what remains of your actual car? That’s almost unbelievable! Thanks for this important post. God bless you and your family!
    • Yes Constance, that’s all that remains of my Toyota Prius but most importantly my family is ALIVE! After this ordeal, I had to share the importance of child car seat safety. I couldn’t keep this to myself.

      Nicole
      DC Thrifty Mom

  2. I thank God you and your family survived the accident and I pray your quick and complete recovery. Thank you sharing such an important reminder with all of us.

    Vanessa

    • Thank you for your prayers and kind words, Vanessa. Child Car Seat Safety is an important matter and one I could NOT disregard after this accident.

      Nicole
      DC Thrifty Mom

  3. Kerry says:
    That picture is terrifying. So glad you and your family were safe and able to pass on this important message. Best wishes to you as you recover from this ordeal.
  4. Gina says:
    Oh, Nicole, so scary! Thank goodness you are all alright. I’m thinking of you all and wishing you a peaceful new year.

GIVEAWAYS!

Fun Home

Washington Nationals Baseball Game (March 31–May 3) – Up to 48% Off

Thank You to Our Sponsor!

**** YOUR BUSINESS HERE **** Email info@DCThriftyMom.com for details!

Child Car Seat Safety

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Happy New Year…PLEASE take a moment, It can Save A Life!

Posted on January 1, 2015 by DC Thrifty Mom in Information, Notices and tagged with , , , ,

DC Thrifty Mom - car seat reminder

I am so grateful to be here to say HAPPY NEW YEAR! Right before Christmas, my family and I were traveling home when we were rear-ended. Thankfully, everyone survived this horrific accident.

On this first day of 2015, I want to remind you of the importance of child car seat safety. Having the age appropriate car seat installed and properly used is a MUST. Personally, I am a fan of Britax with the safecell complete side impact protection.  My 3-year-old was seated in the Advocate ClickTight Convertible Car Seat and my 8-year-old was in the Pinnacle ClickTight harness to booster, still using the harness. In my opinion, with the rear and side impact of this accident, these car seats made a huge difference in keeping their head and neck secure, ultimately reducing their injuries. The “National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recommends that child safety seats be replaced following a moderate or severe crash in order to ensure a continued high level of crash protection for child passengers.” Since our accident, I have purchased these replacements.

Another important reminder, you should regularly adjust your car seats. In June 2006, my husband and I were eagerly preparing for the birth of our first child and met Ms. Sylvia Perkins-Swain, a local child car seat expert with “Safe Kids”. She showed us the proper way to install the car seat, registered the seat to keep us informed of recalls, and reminded us to make adjustments as our little one grows. Now with two daughters and their varying growth spurts, I make routine visits to the car seat inspection station for adjustments to keep them safe. On Friday, October 10, 2014, I visited the DC Safe Kids location at TheArc because I thought it was time to adjust the seat for my 3-year-old. Ms. Perkins-Swain discovered that both car seats required adjustments. After this accident, I am very grateful I took time to check their car seats.

As parents, we might think our children are old enough to fasten themselves in their seat. Or, that they are big enough to be seated without a booster. Please take a moment to ensure that your child is in the correct car seat type (rear-facing, forward-facing, booster, or seat belt), that it is installed correctly, adjusted as needed, and finally that your child is securely in their seat. We never plan to be in an accident but these safeguards can “Save a Life!” Looking at the wreckage above, I believe it did for my daughters.

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death and injury for all children.  Child safety seats, or car seats, reduce the risk of injury by 71% to 82% and reduce the risk of death by 28% in comparison to children in seat belts alone.   Booster seats reduce the risk of nonfatal injuries by 45% among 4 to 8 year olds.

According to AAA, 3 out of 4 car seats are installed incorrectly; and 7 out of 10 kids in child safety seats are not properly buckled in. Here are the top three car seat mistakes AAA says parents are making every day:

#1: It’s not installed tightly enough

When you put in a seat, throw your whole weight into it with your knee and yank the belts that connect the seat to the car tight. The installed seat should not move more than an inch.

#2: The straps aren’t on right

Remember, kids need to be held tightly to that seat in a crash. The shoulder straps should be snug enough that you can’t pinch the strap at their shoulder. Make sure there are no twists, and the chest clip is up at armpit level.

#3: Upgrading your kid too soon

The rules of when to turn a seat around or when to stop using a booster seat are designed by pediatricians, not politicians. They know how kids’ bodies react in crashes.

Kids will need a booster seat until they’re 4’9″ — that’s typically age 8 to 12.

To help protect your kids, AAA has provided the top twelve car seat mistakes parents make.

For your convenience, I have listed some Washington DC child car seat inspection stations and the recommendations for the correct car seat types below. Please do me a favor, share this message with a friend or two and your parent groups/listservs. Let’s make 2015 a safe one!

Safe Kids Buckle Up

FREE Car Seat Inspection: DC Safe Kids–THEARC 1901 Mississippi Ave SE Washington, DC 20020 Every Friday, 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. 202-471-4886 Contact: Sylvia Perkins-Swain

Child Car Seat Inspection Stations

in Washington D.C.

Metropolitan Police –
Traffic Safety and Spec. Enforcement Branch
501 New York Ave NW
Washington, DC 20001
Please call for an appointment. 
202-437-8030    
Contact: Arlinda Page 

Gallaudet University
800 Florida Ave NE
Washington, DC 20002
202-651-5000    
Contact: Lawrence Curtis 

DC Safe Kids–Children’s National Medical Center
111 Michigan Ave NW
Washington, DC 20010
1st, 2nd, and 3rd Mondays of each month, 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. 
202-471-4886    
Contact: Sylvia Perkins-Swain 

Safe Kids–Providence Hospital
1150 Varnum St NE
Washington, DC 20017
1st/2nd/4th Tuesday–10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.every Wednesday–10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. 
202-471-4886    
Contact: Sylvia Perkins-Swain 

DC Safe Kids–THEARC
1901 Mississippi Ave SE
Washington, DC 20020
every Friday, 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. 
202-471-4886    
Contact: Sylvia Perkins-Swain 

DC DMV
1001 Half St SW
Washington, DC 20024
Tue and Wed: 7 am- 3pm
202-696-4667    
Contact: Larry Walker 

Find a child car seat inspection station nearest you here or call 1-866-SEAT-CHECK. Certified technicians will inspect your child car seat, in most cases, FREE OF CHARGE – and show you how to correctly install and use it.

 

According to Safercar.gov, a guide to the right car seat with age and size recommendations:

Rear-Facing Car Seat

Birth – 12 Months

Your child under age 1 should always ride in a rear-facing car seat. There are different types of rear-facing car seats:

  • Infant-only seats can only be used rear-facing.
  • Convertible and All-in-one car seats typically have higher height and weight limits for the rear-facing position, allowing you to keep your child rear-facing for a longer period of time.

1 – 3 Years

Keep your child rear-facing as long as possible. It’s the best way to keep him or her safe. Your child should remain in a rear-facing car seat until he or she reaches the top height or weight limit allowed by your car seat’s manufacturer. Once your child outgrows the rear-facing car seat, your child is ready to travel in a forward-facing car seat with a harness and tether.


Forward-Facing Car Seat

1 – 3 Years

Keep your child rear-facing as long as possible. It’s the best way to keep him or her safe. Your child should remain in a rear-facing car seat until he or she reaches the top height or weight limit allowed by your car seat’s manufacturer. Once your child outgrows the rear-facing car seat, your child is ready to travel in a forward-facing car seat with a harness and tether.

4 – 7 Years

Keep your child in a forward-facing car seat with a harness and tether until he or she reaches the top height or weight limit allowed by your car seat’s manufacturer. Once your child outgrows the forward-facing car seat with a harness, it’s time to travel in a booster seat, but still in the back seat.


Booster Seat

4 – 7 Years

Keep your child in a forward-facing car seat with a harness and tether until he or she reaches the top height or weight limit allowed by your car seat’s manufacturer. Once your child outgrows the forward-facing car seat with a harness, it’s time to travel in a booster seat, but still in the back seat.

8 – 12 Years

Keep your child in a booster seat until he or she is big enough to fit in a seat belt properly. For a seat belt to fit properly the lap belt must lie snugly across the upper thighs, not the stomach. The shoulder belt should lie snugly across the shoulder and chest and not cross the neck or face. Remember: your child should still ride in the back seat because it’s safer there.


Seat Belt

8 – 12 Years

Keep your child in a booster seat until he or she is big enough to fit in a seat belt properly. For a seat belt to fit properly the lap belt must lie snugly across the upper thighs, not the stomach. The shoulder belt should lie snugly across the shoulder and chest and not cross the neck or face. Remember: your child should still ride in the back seat because it’s safer there.

This test, from  the DC Metropolitan Police Department, is a quick and easy way to determine if a booster seat is needed.

  • Does the child sit all the way back against the back of the auto seat?
  • Do the child’s knees bend comfortably at the front edge of the auto seat?
  • Does the lap belt cross the child’s shoulder between the neck and the arms?
  • Is the lap portion of the lap/shoulder belt as low as possible, touching the thighs?
  • Can the child stay seated like this for the entire trip?

If you have answered “no” to any of these questions, your child needs a booster seat to ride safely in the car.

Related Resources

Happy New Year

Let’s Make 2015 a Safe One!

*****

Connect with DC Thrifty Mom

DCThriftyMom

6 Responses so far.

  1. Constance says:
    A picture says a thousand words! Is that really what remains of your actual car? That’s almost unbelievable! Thanks for this important post. God bless you and your family!
    • Yes Constance, that’s all that remains of my Toyota Prius but most importantly my family is ALIVE! After this ordeal, I had to share the importance of child car seat safety. I couldn’t keep this to myself.

      Nicole
      DC Thrifty Mom

  2. I thank God you and your family survived the accident and I pray your quick and complete recovery. Thank you sharing such an important reminder with all of us.

    Vanessa

    • Thank you for your prayers and kind words, Vanessa. Child Car Seat Safety is an important matter and one I could NOT disregard after this accident.

      Nicole
      DC Thrifty Mom

  3. Kerry says:
    That picture is terrifying. So glad you and your family were safe and able to pass on this important message. Best wishes to you as you recover from this ordeal.
  4. Gina says:
    Oh, Nicole, so scary! Thank goodness you are all alright. I’m thinking of you all and wishing you a peaceful new year.

Subscribe to DCThriftyMom via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Presents Out Of This World

James and the Giant Peach Jr.

STOMP

Recent Blog Highlights:

FREE KIDS WORKSHOPS

GIVEAWAYS!

Fun Home

Washington Nationals Baseball Game (March 31–May 3) – Up to 48% Off

Thank You to Our Sponsor!

**** YOUR BUSINESS HERE **** Email info@DCThriftyMom.com for details!

Child Car Seat Safety

Areas of Interest

Archives

Grab the DCThriftyMom Button

DCThriftyMom

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