Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among children under age fourteen in the United States. This sobering statistic reminds us that even if you’re a careful driver, you can’t eliminate the possibility of an auto accident. An age- and weight-appropriate child safety seat is a crucial step to keeping your child safe in the car.
- Read your child restraint owner's manual for instructions on its proper use.
- Follow the weight limitations recommended by the manufacturer of your car seat.
- Check to see if your child's restraint has been recalled. A car seat may be recalled because of a defect that could injure your child. Manufacturers are required to fix the problem free of charge. If you are unsure as to whether or not your seat has been recalled, contact the Department of Transportation Auto Safety Hotline toll-free at 888-DASH-2-DOT. Use the seat that is appropriate for the age and size of the child.
- Use the correct belt path to attach the car seat to the vehicle seat.
- Keep the retainer clip at armpit level on the child. Only one finger should fit between the clip and your child's chest.
- Make sure the seat moves less than one inch when pulled at the base. When installing the seat, place your knee in the seat to add weight.
- Do not use seats that are older than six years or have been in a crash. Never buy a used car seat.
- For more information, call toll free at 800-KID-N-CAR, or visit the program’s website at preventinjury.org.
Statistics show that at least four out of five car seats are used incorrectly. Improper use of a child safety seat can lead to severe injury or death.
Parents and caregivers can call Indiana University Health Arnett Childbirth Education at 765-838-4670 to schedule an appointment to have their car seat installation checked by a certified technician FREE-OF-CHARGE.
Car seat inspections are conducted at Indiana University Health Arnett Hospital and other sites as announced.
What to bring to your inspection:
- Your child’s car seat
- Owner’s manual for the seat
- Primary vehicle in which the car seat is used
- Owner’s manual for the car
- Child to whom the seat belongs
If you do not have these items, you can still get an inspection. It is important to know Indiana's car seat laws and adhere to them!
All children must be in an approved safety seat with internal harness until age 4. IU Health Arnett recommends that you observe this law until your child weighs 40 pounds and 40 inches tall to ensure maximum safety as well.
- Children older than 4 must be in a booster seat until age 8. IU Health Arnett recommends that you observe this law until your child weighs 80 pounds and is at least 4'9" tall to ensure maximum safety.
- Children must remain rear-facing in a car seat until age 1 and 20 pounds. At that point, it is legal for the child to be seated facing forward. However, IU Health Arnett recommends leaving your child rear-facing until he or she has outgrown the rear-facing weight limit, which is 22 pounds on most infant only carriers and 30-35 pounds rear-facing for convertible seats.
For more information or to schedule an inspection at IU Health Arnett's permanent fitting station, please call 765-838-4670.