VIRGINA BEACH, Va., (February 09, 2021) - The week of Valentine’s Day is a great time to remind parents of the importance of buckling up everyone in the car on every ride. AAA Tidewater Virginia encourages parents, and all caregivers, to place children in the right seat and give them the longest hug in the world. Buckle up.
Using a properly fitted and correctly installed child safety seat reduces the risk of being injured in a motor vehicle. According to NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) 59% of children involved in a car crash were in car seats not used correctly. “While Virginia requires children to be properly restrained until their 8th birthday in a safety seat or booster seat, ensuring everyone is safely restrained in the vehicle is more than the law. It’s an act of love”, says Holly Dalby, director of public affairs for AAA Tidewater Virginia.
For people of all ages, seatbelts are best worn close to the body, and have long been proven to help the body slow down and protect the brain and spinal cord in the event of a crash. When a child safety seat harness is fitted over a puffy jacket, the jacket can compress in a crash and create a gap between the harness and the child. That gap is like a loose belt and can cause the child to slip through the restraint – or worse, they can even be ejected.
For maximum child passenger safety, parents and caregivers simply need to remember and follow the 5 Steps for Kids:
1) For the best possible protection, keep children in the back seat, in rear-facing child safety seats as long as possible, or until they reach the top height or weight limit allowed by the car seat manufacturer. Virginia law requires children to remain rear-facing up to age 2.
2) When children outgrow their rear-facing seats, they should ride in a forward-facing child safety seat in the back seat, until they reach the weight or height limit of the child safety seat.
3) Once children outgrow their forward-facing seat, they should ride in a booster seat in the back seat, until the vehicle seat belts fit properly. Seat belts fit properly when the lap belt can lay snugly across the upper thighs, low on the hips, not the stomach and the shoulder belt can lay snugly across the shoulder and chest, not across the neck or face.
4) When children outgrow their booster seats, they can use the adult seat belt in the back seat, if it fits properly.
5) Children must continue riding in the back seat until at least age 12.
To locate a certified technician nearest to you, use the locator map or calendar at: The Right Seat | NHTSA
As part of North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA Tidewater Virginia provides its more than 350,000 members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding AAA Tidewater Virginia has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. For more information, visit AAA.com and follow us on Twitter at Twitter.com/AAATidewaterVA or Facebook at facebook.com/AAATidewaterVirginia.