A Conversation with Kate Carr
Ms. Kate Carr, CEO of Safe Kids Worldwide, talks about Child Safety Seats and their critical importance in saving children’s lives in car crashes. The easiest and most effective way to protect your child in a car crash is a child safety seat. This episode is a conversation on when, where and how to properly use a child car safety seat.
The first step in protecting your child in a car crash is purchasing a car seat for your newborn, the second step is installing it correctly and the third step is actually buckling your child in it. With a 58% reduction in child deaths since 1987, it is clear that we have significantly improved our actions to protect children, but more needs to be done. One example discussed in this episode is Great Britain’s most famous newborn, Prince George. After being carried out from St. Mary’s Hospital in England, he was placed in a child safety seat located in the back seat, and it was a rear-facing—both fantastic actions. However, the straps in the car seat placed around Prince George were too loose, and he was wrapped in a lot of swaddling, concerns for child safety experts. Fortunately, the corrections are simple to make.
Child Safety Seat Inspections
Installing a child seat correctly is easily shown at any one of over 100,000 annual child car seat inspections. While at a car seat inspection, one of the 36,000 certified child car seat technicians will inspect the seat installation and provide advice and tips on making sure it is done correctly. The most important aspect of a car seat inspection is that parents are taught how to properly install the seat, an important lesson they take with them when they leave.
However, a new survey of parents with children under the age of 10 has raised significant concern: one in four parents admitted to not buckling a child in a car safety seat at least occasionally, citing such reasons as:
- It was “just” a short trip
- Time constraints due to feeling rushed
- Letting a child sleep laying down during overnight travel, and
- As a “reward.”
With a majority of crashes happening within 10 minutes of home, short trips and time constraints make it even more dangerous to fail to use a child car seat. A significant number of crashes happen in the evening hours, so allowing your child to lie down, while understandable, poses too much risk. And as both Kate and David note, a child buckled in a car seat is not punishment, it is safety, and the child’s life, and should never be negotiable. Ever. Clearly, the research demonstrates the importance of the Safe Kids Worldwide tag line: Buckle up, every ride, every time.
A Summary of the Key Points
Afterwards, David provides highlights of the conversation, noting that every parent of a young child should:
- Have a child safety seat and place it in the back seat
- For approximately a child’s first two years have a rear-facing car seat
- Check the label on the seat to make sure it is the right seat based on the age, height and weight of the child
- Check the car seat’s label for the expiration date
- Never use a car seat that has been in a crash
- At the right time, switch a child to a booster seat to ensure the adult seat belts fit properly and still protect the child, and
- When your child is old enough to “do it themselves” double-check to make sure they have—and when safe to do so, glance back now and then to make sure they have not unbuckled themselves.
From 1975 through 2011, an estimated 9,874 lives were saved by child restraints for children under the age of 5 in passenger vehicles—almost 10,000 lives saved because parents took the time to get child safety seats, and use them. Now, we must all make sure they are installed correctly and used ALL the time.
Bubble Wrap Video: