Child safety in autos takes center stage
Parents and other caretakers of children would agree that almost nothing takes priority over a child's safety.
It's impossible to protect children from all the dangers they'll meet, but there's no reason to not make every effort, when possible. To remind us to pay special attention to the safety of children in vehicles, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has designated the week of Feb. 8-14 Child Passenger Safety week.
Small children should always be secured in a child safety seat when riding in a car, but strapping them in is not always enough. Special care should be taken to ensure that the seat is installed and used properly.
It is very important to use the appropriate car seat, based on your child's size and age. Even older children, up to age 12, should always sit in the back seat, to prevent injury by a deployed airbag.
Even under the best circumstances, an auto accident can occur at any time and children depend on their caretakers to protect them from risk of injury or death. Shortcuts in child safety may save time, but they can devastate lives.
If you're not absolutely sure you're using the best child safety procedures in your car, take a few minutes to check things out. It could make a big difference in the future.
Specific child passenger safety guidelines can be found at http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/CPS.