Navajo-Hopi Nations,Flagstaff & Winslow News
Wed, Aug. 05

Child passenger seat adjustments may be needed to ensure safety

PHOENIX-According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death for all children between ages 6 and 15. Car seats can reduce the risk of death significantly (as much as 71 percent for infants and about 55 percent for toddlers), however, statistics also show that up to 82 percent of infant car seats are installed incorrectly, increasing the risk of severe injury or mortality if an accident occurs.

Proper use of a child safety seat is the best protection you can give your child when traveling by car. When a child is dressed for the cold winter months, it may be a challenge to properly buckle in a little one for safety. Allstate Insurance Company is offering timely tips to ensure that parents are correctly buckling up their child when their child is bundled up.

"Winter clothing can change the way a child fits into a car seat," says Melinda Wilson, Allstate spokesperson in Arizona. "For car seats or booster seats to function properly, the straps need to remain tight against the child's chest, the filling of a thick coat may compress in an accident, making secure looking straps loose." When car seat straps do not fit a child properly, there is a chance the child could be ejected from the car seat.

Allstate and Heather Corley, an expert from the About.com Baby Products Guide (http://babyproducts.about.com), offer an easy way parents can test their baby's winter clothing to see if they are too thick to be safe in a car seat.

- Take the car seat into the house.

- Put the winter clothing on the child.

- Put the child in the car seat and buckle the harnesses as you normally would before car travel. Adjust the straps to the appropriate fit for your child.

- Take the child out of the car seat without loosening the straps at all.

- Take the coat off your child.

- Put the child back in the car seat and buckle the harnesses again, but do not tighten the straps.

- If you can fit more than two fingers under the harness at the child's shoulder bone, the coat is too thick and is not safe for use with the car seat.

Now celebrating the 75th anniversary of the founding of Allstate Insurance Company, The Allstate Corporation is the nation's largest publicly held personal lines insurer. Widely known through the "You're In Good Hands With Allstate®" slogan, Allstate helps individuals in approximately 17 million households protect what they have today and better prepare for tomorrow through approximately 14,100 exclusive agencies and financial professionals in the U.S. and Canada.

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