Honoring Child Passenger Safety Week

Sometimes learning a new routine sucks, but sometimes it’s great.

At our new school, the teachers help my daughters in and out of their car seats. I love that I don’t have to get in and out of the car and that someone else has to buckle them.

One particular day, when a teacher was helping Butterfly out of the car, she mentioned that she was happy to see that “her precious girl” was strapped in properly.

I also see the issue clearly when others take my daughters for a ride. I always begin with a 10-minute tutorial on how to properly secure the car seat, then buckle in my daughters. Everyone rolls their eyes, but I take my daughters’ safety seriously, especially in thousand pound vehicles.

So when I found out that this week,September 18-24, 2016 is Child Passenger Safety Week, an annual event put together by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administrations (NHTSA) to raise awareness for car seat safety, I had to spread the news.

Leading Death Among Children

Did you know that according to the CDC, accidents are the leading cause of death among children in the United States?

Seriously, this is something that can be prevented by parents just taking a few extra seconds tucking in their child into their car seat can save their life!

Are you harnessing your child into their seats correctly?

Harness 101


Diono teamed up with their Global Safety Advocate and Certified Child Passenger Safety Instructor, Allana Pinkerton, to gather her favorite car seat safety tips for Child Passenger Safety Week.

Why is car seat safety so important?

Here are the facts:

  • Car crashes are a leading cause of death among children in the United States.
  • Four out of five car seats are not properly installed.
  • Car seats reduce the risk of injury by 71-82% and reduce the risk of death by 28% in comparison to seat belts alone.

When it comes to car seat safety, there is no such thing as “overprotective.” Car seats save lives!

Here are ten safety tips to ensure your child is snug and safe in their car seat:

1. Read the manual:

Parenting doesn’t come with a manual. Luckily, your child’s car seat does. We know the manual can seem daunting, but it is detailed for a reason. You should always read both the car seat manual AND your vehicle manual, as both contain vital information about installation, seat belt function, seating positions and safety warnings. Before installing, allow yourself plenty of time to get to know your car seat. Store your manuals in a safe spot (like your glove box or storage compartment) so you can reference them later as your child grows.

2. Harnessing 101:

Is your child properly harnessed? Whether rear-facing or forward-facing, the chest clip on your child’s harness should always be placed at armpit level. This ensures the harness stays on the child’s shoulders for maximum safety. The 5-point harness should fit snug and comfortable. You should not be able to pinch the harness strap at the collar bone.

3. Rear-facing is 5X safer:

Rear-facing car seats offer maximum protection for your child’s head, neck and spinal cord, yet 77% of children are moved into a forward-facing seat too soon. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends children stay rear-facing until at least two years of age. Don’t rush to move your child to the forward-facing position. Because every child develops at a different rate, age is not the only factor to consider. As best practice, we recommend keeping your child rear-facing to the maximum weight or height of their car seat.

4. Re-check the harness slot:

When was the last time you checked your child’s car seat for proper harness slot placement? When positioning a 5-point harness on your child, stick to this important rule. For rear-facing seats, the harness straps should be at or BELOW the child’s shoulders. For forward-facing seats, the harness straps should be at or ABOVE the child’s shoulders. Because your little one is constantly growing, check frequently for proper positioning.


5. Don’t skip the booster:

Vehicles are equipped with seat belts meant for ADULTS. They do not fit children properly until they are between 9-12 years old. Once a child has outgrown their 5-point harness, they are ready for a booster seat. Boosters help ensure proper seat belt position and help reduce injury by 45% compared to a seat belt alone. To determine whether your child is ready to use a seat belt only, check out the 5-Step Test.

Honoring Child Safety Week sponsored by Diono | AprilNoelle.com6. Use the tether:

Are you using the top tether on your car seat? Head injury is one of the most common injuries for children in a car crash. The top tether provides additional safety for your child while forward-facing, keeping the head from hitting the seat in front and minimizing strain on the neck and spinal column during a crash. Refer to your car seat manual AND vehicle manual to determine proper tether installation.

7. Always buckle:

No matter how close to home or your destination, always buckle your child and yourself. Car crashes often happen close to home, and even a low-speed crash can cause serious injury. Take the time to properly fasten your children AND yourself each and every trip.

8. Proper belt path:

When using a seat belt to install a car seat, check to make sure you are using the proper belt path. Some car seats have two, one for rear-facing and one for forward-facing. Check your manual for more information.

9. Seat belt or LATCH, not both:

Never use the seat belt and lower anchor connectors at the same time, unless permitted by the car seat manufacturer and the vehicle manufacturer. Choose one or the other. Remember that some car seats have lower anchor weight limits, so check your car seat manual to make sure your child has not exceeded the LATCH limit.

10. The million-dollar question:

The number one question that parents like to ask a Child Passenger Safety Technician is “what is the best car seat?” When it comes to car seat safety, there is no one seat fits all. The right car seat is the one that fits your vehicle, fits your child, and the one you will use correctly every time you travel. Not every car seat will fit every vehicle or every child.  It’s best to try before you buy or purchase from a retailer with a convenient return policy. If you have friends with car seats, try theirs out too.

[tweetthis]It’s easy to protect my child with #DionoSafetyTips [/tweetthis]

Knowledge is power! Each and every day this week we will be sharing these tips on our social media channels. Follow along at #DionoSafetyTips and help us spread the importance of car seat safety by sharing our posts. Our number one goal is to get as many children traveling safely down the road as possible.

More Infographics (click to enlarge)


I want to thank Diono for providing these awesome infographics to drive home some safety points! Head over to their site in order to win a new car seat!

Did you learn anything new from these infographics?


30 comments on “Honoring Child Passenger Safety Week”

  1. This is so important. One of the best ways we can keep our kids safe is to be sure that they’re correctly strapped in when we drive. In the event of an accident, it will save their lives.

  2. I think this is a wonderful thing to help drive awareness to proper car seat safety. So many people put their carseats in wrong, and they don’t even realize it. That’s the scariest part.

  3. Pam says:

    My son in law works in a hospital. He sees a lot of car wreck patients, and those can be some of the worst cases.

  4. This is really important. I know parents want to keep their kids safe, but sometimes it can be really confusing when trying to figure out some of these manuals for car seats.

  5. I am so glad that there is a week dedicated to such an important topic. Some people are not educated well enough on the subject.

  6. Melisasource says:

    Car seats are so important! I often see parents letting their kids out of them way too early!

  7. Stefanie says:

    Car seat safety is soooooo important. I kept my daughter in a 5-point harness as long as I could.

  8. Tess says:

    It is important to make sure your kids are safe in cars. Its great to bring this awareness to parents.

  9. Elizabeth O. says:

    This is such a helpful post, especially since not everyone is aware of how to make sure that the car seat is in place and properly setup. It’s good that there’s a week dedicated to raising awareness for child safety.

  10. Car seat safety is so important to me! I definitely think more people need to educate themselves on the matter. Thank you for sharing this information and tips!

  11. Liz Mays says:

    This is so important! It’s good to take precautions and check to see if you’re using car seats correctly.

  12. Mixed Reviews says:

    Wow that’s so interesting that 4 out of 5 car seats aren’t properly installed/secure. I guess people think that as long as it’s in the car and fastened it’s fine but there’s more to it. I’m glad you’re bringing attention to this important topic. It’s crazy to think about how many injuries/deaths are preventable with proper knowledge.

  13. Ann Bacciaglia says:

    This is a fantastic post. I will have to try the pinch test the next time my friends little one is in my car.

  14. Brandy says:

    This is such an important post! My kids safety always comes first.

  15. This is a very helpful post! Seat safety is our always the number one concern when we drive. Love all your tips here!

  16. victoria says:

    This is really a great post, I will keep this in my mind.

  17. Amanda Love says:

    You can never be too safe when it comes to your child’s safety in the car. I think it’s awesome that we have a week to raise awareness regarding this issue.

  18. Good advice for everyone — moms and dads and also grandparents such as hubby and I. I’d hate to think that anything would happen to our precious grandsons. I’m glad you’ve written the post.

  19. Jeanine says:

    So very important! Car safety for kids is so important. I know a lot of people are very, very into car seat and car seat safety and rightfully so! We don’t have a vehicle, but we have all our seats ready for a “just in case” and will follow all of these!

  20. Aeryn Lynne says:

    It always boggles my mind on how much you need to know about installing car seats, that hadn’t been widely available before. I know my parents had made a few mistakes, simply ’cause there wasn’t a way to learn better. It’s one of those, “Yay internet!” moments, lol. Always mindful to do the pinch test now! Thanks for the reminders on what to check for! <3

  21. These infographics are really helpful. There are so many different car seats and your child’s needs and seating positions change as they get older. You have keep yourself in the know to ensure their safety.

  22. Brianne says:

    This is such a great and important post! Securing your child into their carseat correctly is so crucial. I have to get three into their carseats, and I don’t ever care how long it takes just as long as I am doing it right!

  23. Crystal says:

    The numbers are frightening. I had no idea it was such a huge percentage of childhood deaths. This is a great reminder to never take safety for granted.

  24. It’s so important to make sure you have the kids strapped in correctly. Knowing where the straps should be is important

  25. It is very important to be mindful especially if we have kids as a passenger in the car. All safety precautions must be practiced 🙂

  26. Nicole Escat says:

    It’s my first time to hear about this child passenger safety week. I’ve known so many horror stories about this.

  27. Ryan Escat says:

    This is a wonderful post, very helpful and informative. I will share this post.

  28. Rose Pingol says:

    I haven’t tried using a car seat, we do not have a car but this is worth to share.

  29. Lisa Rios says:

    The statistics behind the death among children is quiet horrible and it is an eye opener to know the importance of car seat safety for everyone of us. These are some great tips to make sure all is well with your car seat and these infographic are a great reminder as well.

  30. Mellissa Williams says:

    Child passenger safety is so important! A lot of people just don’t really know the real rules for how a child should be fastened in..

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