It’s National Baby Safety Month and every Monday we will be sharing tips from the leaders in baby safety knowledge at JPMA. Today is all about carseat safety! Take the JPMA carseat challenge below – and don’t forget to check out last week’s tips, too.

Take The JPMA Carseat Challenge!

As a parent, you try to do everything right. From nutrition to sleep habits, you are constantly making well thought-out decisions that are right for your family. So when it comes to purchasing or installing car seats, why do we become helpless fools?

Whether you are purchasing your first infant carrier, upgrading your toddler into a car seat or researching booster seats, the car seat evolution is a journey through parenthood that can be intimidating. But don’t let it scare you.  Stand up to the JPMA carseat challenge and ensure a safe ride every time!

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. 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.

Unfortunately, 3 out of 4 car seats are installed incorrectly, but when used properly and according to the manufacturers’ instructions, child restraints are highly effective at reducing the likelihood of death by more than 70%.

In fact, child restraints are considerably more effective than adult safety belts.

If you follow a few simple guidelines, riding in the car with your baby can be a safe and enjoyable experience.

The back seat is the safest place to ride.

Choose a seat that fits nicely in your car and can only move one inch in any direction once properly installed. If you purchase a seat that moves too much, please return it and purchase one that fits properly.

Always anchor the car seat/booster seat to the car using the seat belt exactly as directed by the car seat/booster seat manufacturer.

NEVER use a car seat/booster seat in a seating location with an airbag.

Read the vehicle owner’s manual for information on other belt accessories that may be required. Always read the child seat instruction manual. Each manufacturer provides specific instructions regarding proper use and installation of their child seats.

September is Baby Safety Month and this year, JPMA reminds every parent the importance of properly strapping baby into the car seat each and every time:

A snug strap should not allow any slack.

It lies in a relatively straight line without sagging.

It does not press on the child’s flesh or push the child’s body into an unnatural position.

Chest clips should be positioned mid to upper chest area, near armpits. Shoulder straps fit snugly–can only fit 1 finger between harness and shoulder or use pinch test.

Lead by example. Make sure the whole family buckles up!

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. With a little bit of knowledge, you can ensure your child safety seat is installed and being using properly.

September is Baby Safety Month. Learn how you can keep baby safe and visit babysafetymonth.org

Amy Chezem is JPMA’s Senior Communications Manager and Baby Safety Month Program Director. Amy has managed the Baby Safety Month program for nearly two decades and helped expand the program creating one of JPMA’s largest consumer education and awareness programs to date.

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