Wellness Wednesday: Car seat safety

SALT LAKE CITY – Is your child safe in the car? Most parents are surprised to find that their children are not safely secured in the car. Car seats can be confusing and complicated for any parent. That’s why Intermountain Healthcare offers a variety of resources to help parents and families understand and ensure that their car seats are installed properly.

Car Seat Checkpoints:

May is Trauma Awareness Month. To help educate our community and ensure the safety of your young passengers, Intermountain Healthcare and Primary Children’s Hospital is providing free car seat evaluations at Intermountain Medical Center and Riverton Hospital. An expert will ensure your car seat is efficient for your needs and stalled correctly.

Intermountain Medical Center
Wednesdays, May 8 & 29 4 – 6 p.m.
5201 Intermountain Dr., Murray
Northwest corner of the Costco parking lot

Riverton Hospital
Thursday, May 23 3-6 p.m.
Call 24/7 at (801) 285-2470 to schedule an appointment

Car Seat Safety Tips:

  • Never place a safety seat in the front seat of a car. Regardless of the type of safety seat you use, the front seat is dangerous, especially if your vehicle has air bags.
  • Snugly secure the belt holding the safety seat in the car and the harness holding the child in the safety seat.
  • Make sure you are using the right seat for the age and weight of your child. Check the seat’s age and weight recommendations.
  • Make sure your car seat fits properly in your car. Check the vehicle owner’s manual and the safety seat instructions for proper placement procedures.
  • Send in the safety seat registration card. Doing so will keep you informed about any updates or recalls of the product.
  • Destroy a child safety seat if it has been involved in a crash, even if it still looks like it is in good condition. Damage that affects a seat’s ability to withstand another crash is not always visible.
  • Avoid secondhand safety seats. Use a secondhand seat only if it has instructions, the manufacturer’s date and model number on it, and you can verify it has never been in a crash.
  • Never use an expired safety seat. The life of a car safety seat is about six years.
  • New guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommend children stay rear-facing as long as possible, until they reach the highest weight allowed by the car seat. Many seats can stay rear facing up to 40 pounds.

If you would like to schedule a car seat check, please call (801) 662-6583

Primary Children’s Hospital Offers a Visual Reminder that a Child is With You
No child should ever be left unattended in a vehicle for any amount of time – even a quick trip into the store is too long. About 40 children across the country die each year after being left in a hot vehicle. Of these fatalities, 87 percent are children ages 3 years and younger. In Utah, 12 children have died in hot vehicles since 1996, and others have suffered injuries in “close calls.”

Keep a visual reminder that a child is with you.

  • Primary Children’s Hospital offers parents a Baby Safety Snap lanyard. It’s a low-tech visual reminder that you have a child in the backseat.
  • It’s a bright yellow lanyard with the words “Baby in Car.” It clicks into the car seat where the straps connect in the 5-point harness.
  • When you put your baby in the seat, you remove the lanyard and put it around your neck. When you arrive at your destination, the lanyard helps you remember the baby in the car.
  • Order your free Baby Safety Snap at PrimaryChildrens.org/safetysnap.
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