Car Seat Safety Tips for Happy Travels
Whether you are heading out for a late-summer road trip or just popping over to the grocery store, you want your little one snug and safe in a car seat. The vehicles offered at Miller Toyota in Manassas have many safety features for the protection of your family, but there is no substitute for a properly installed and fastened car seat.
Toyota is teamed up with Cincinnati Children’s Hospital for the national child passenger safety program Buckle Up for Life to spread the word about how to keep kids in cars as safe as can be. Every person with a child passenger should heed these tips for the safest use of their car seat:
- Always use the “Inch Test” and the “Pinch Test”. Pinch the car seat strap near the shoulder of the child. If you are able to pinch a wrinkle in the fabric of the strap, it is not tight enough. Then, grasp the back and bottom of the car seat and try to move it from side to side and from front to back. If the seat moves more than an inch in either direction, tighten that as well.
- Never add towels or extra layers between the seat and your child. You may be tempted to put down a layer to cool off the seat or to make cleaning spills easier, but resist! The seat is designed specifically for a child in contact with the seat, and extra material could interfere with the seat’s ability to restrain the child in the event of a collision. Only use accessories and products specifically approved for use by the seat’s manufacturer.
- Take time to cool off; then buckle up. High temperatures outside may mean the car seat inside is too hot to handle. Cool off the car before setting children in child seats. Open the windows, turn on the AC, and be sure to test any metal or plastic pieces to make sure they are cool enough. It is especially important that you never leave children alone in the car in hot weather, when temperatures can rise dramatically in no time at all.
- Don’t rent a car seat. Take your own car seat to use on trips, even if you are renting a car. A rented car seat has an uncertain history (perhaps it has already been in a crash or is past its expiration date) and its use is not as familiar to you. Most airlines allow you to check car seats free of cost, so don’t leave your child’s seat up to chance.
- Secure loose items in the car. Your child is securely fastened in the event of a sudden stop or crash, but what about everything else in the car? Objects like suitcases and beach chairs can go flying without warning if they are not tightly secured, so make sure they are not a danger to anyone, including your child, by locking them down.
Do the most for your child’s safety by following these tips for car seat security. Your friends at Miller Toyota in Manassas, Virginia wish you a happy and safe trip!