This September marks the 25th anniversary of Baby Safety Month, sponsored annually by the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA). This year, JPMA is helping educate parents and caregivers on the safe selection and use of child restraint seats by providing valuable information for keeping baby safe in the car.
JPMA is proud to support Child Passenger Safety Week, which is happening RIGHT NOW, September 21-27, 2008! Child Passenger Safety Week is sponsored by NHTSA as a reminder to all parents to use a child safety seat in the back of their vehicles, restrain their child properly, and in accordance with their size and age.
All 50 states have laws that require the use of a car seat. All car seats manufactured today must be designed to meet stringent safety standards set by the Federal government. In fact, child restraints sold in the United States are required to satisfy the rigorous performance standards established by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and are certified by their manufacturers as compliant before they can be offered for sale.
From rear-facing infant seats to forward-facing car seats to booster seats, there are more options available than ever before. There is quite a bit to consider when choosing the product best suited for you, your baby, and your vehicle; once you've made your decision, the web site also has an entire page dedicated to important things to remember for proper use and installation of a child's car seat and belt positioning booster car seat.
An important responsibility begins with selecting a child car seat and using it properly from the moment you bring the baby home to every car ride after that. But did you know that research shows three out of four child safety seats are installed improperly?
Remember to always follow the "4 Steps for Kids" installation guide:
1. For the best possible protection keep infants in the back seat, in rear-facing child safety seats, as long as possible up to the height or weight limit of the particular seat. At a minimum, keep infants rear-facing until at least age 1 and at least 20 pounds.
2. When children outgrow their rear-facing seats (at least age 1 and at least 20 pounds) they should ride in forward-facing child safety seats, in the back seat, until they reach the upper weight or height limit of the particular seat (usually around age 4 and 40 pounds).
3. Once children outgrow their forward-facing seats (usually around age 4 and 40 pounds), they should ride in booster seats, in the back seat, until the vehicle seat belts fit properly. Seat belts fit properly when the lap belt lays across the upper thighs and the shoulder belt fits across the chest (usually at age 8 or when they are 4'9" tall).
4. When children outgrow their booster seats (usually at age 8 or when they are 4'9" tall), they can use the adult seat belts in the back seat, if they fit properly (lap belt lays across the upper thighs and the shoulder belt fits across the chest).
NHTSA urges all parents and caregivers to find an inspection station in your local area to ensure that your child safety seat is properly installed. To find an inspection station in your area visit NHTSA's Child Safety Seat Inspection Station Locator, please CLICK HERE
There is an abundance of material available today for parents and caregivers looking for safety information regarding child restraint seats. The www.jpma.org Web site provides oodles of helpful information to assist with selecting, installing, and using the right car seat to make every car ride with your little one enjoyable.
There is nothing quite like the excitement of having a new baby in your family; it is during this time that keeping your baby safe and comfortable becomes a new priority. The Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association created a brochure to guide you in baby product safety, use, and selection. Whether you're the Mom, Grandma, or a Savvy Auntie, this non-manufacturer specific brochure, titled "Safe & Sound for Baby," illustrates the proper use of many juvenile products. The brochure highlights car seats, changing tables, cribs, crib toys and pacifiers, infant bedding, carriers and swings, carriages and strollers, high chairs, gates and enclosures, infant seats, baby walkers and play yards. Also, the brochure focuses on bathing and feeding, household dangers, electrocution, suffocation, and strangulation.
"Safe & Sound for Baby" is FREE to consumers. For a copy of this informative (and adorable) brochure, you can send a stamped, self-addressed business-size envelope to JPMA Public Information, Safe & Sound For Baby, 15000 Commerce Parkway, Suite C, Mt. Laurel, NJ, 08054. Or you can download a complete PDF booklet here.
For more information on CPS Week, please visit www.nhtsa.dot.gov/childps/planner/index.cfm and en espanol, go to www.nhtsa.dot.gov/childps/planner/Spanish/index.cfm.
By Brandy Schaffels
AskPatty.com Editor, mother of two, and expert car-seat installer