Car seats for babies and young children have been around for over 30 years. Even though car seats are available, many people do not use them. Each year thousands of young children are killed or injured in car crashes. You can protect your child by installing car safety seats in your car and using them every time you are in a car, on every road.
Car seats are engineered to help young children survive the very dangerous crash forces that occur during car accidents. Statistics show that in the period between 2003 and 2007 the UAE witnessed 241 crashes where 278 children between birth and 5 were injured. Nineteen children died.
Car seats are known to reduce the risk of injury and death for rear-facing infants by 71%. They are stronger than a parents’ arms. They keep the fragile child contained in the strong shell while the harness spreads the crash forces over the strongest parts of their bodies: their shoulders and hips.
Children should ride in car safety seats until the vehicle seat belt fits them, usually when they weigh between 36 and 45 kg, are 145 cm tall and are between ages 8-12. Until then, children need the best protection available: a car safety seat that is the right size for the height, weight and age of the child. The proven and safest method available for child protection is a car safety seat specifically designed to hold the child in place, comfortably with maximum security.
INFANTS: For infants up to 14kg use an infant-only or convertible car safety seat. Keep it rear-facing and semireclined at no more than 45 degrees. Having the car safety seat rear-facing, allows the child’s head, neck and shoulders to rest against the back of the seat during a head-on crash. Placing it in the correct semi-reclined angle at 45 degrees keeps the baby’s head back, allowing him or her to breathe with an open airway. Be sure the harness comes from slots at or below the baby’s shoulders and is snug when buckled so you cannot pinch extra webbing.
Use a tightly secured Latch system or seat belt to fasten the car safety seat to the car in a back seat. Place all children under 13 in a back seat. It is safest there. Never leave your child alone in a car.
Toddlers and children between 14 and 30 Kg: Use your convertible car safety seat in a forward-facing and upright position until your child reaches the maximum harness weight. Secure the top tether and seat belt tightly or use the Latch system. Check the harness to be sure it is snug and you cannot pinch extra webbing once buckled. Be sure the harness straps are coming from above the child’s shoulders. Before moving your child too quickly into the next size car safety seat, check to be sure the child’s shoulders are even with the highest harness slot, the tops of his or her ears are even with the back of the car safety seat, or he or she has reached the upper weight limits set by the manufacturer. Move to a booster seat once this seat is outgrown.
(when any one is met)
• The child’s ears are now above the car safety seat shell
• The top harness slots are now below the child’s shoulders
• The child’s height exceeds the seat’s height limit
• The child’s weight exceeds the seat’s weight limit
Children 30-45 Kg: Use a belt-positioning-booster seat with the vehicle lap-and-shoulder belt until your child is able to wear the adult seat belt properly. Your child will be between 8 and 12 years of age and will be about 145cm tall before the adult seat belt will fit properly.
Children over 46 Kg: Take the safety belt fit test: Have your child sit back with his or her back and bottom against the vehicle seat.
If his or her knees bend naturally at the edge of the seat, move to the next step. If not, return to the booster seat. Buckle the seat belt around the child. If the lap belt sits low on the hips, move to the next step. If not, return to the booster seat. Check the shoulder part of the seat belt. If it rests on the shoulder or collarbone, move to the next step. If not, return to the booster seat. NEVER place the shoulder belt under the arm or behind the back. This is very dangerous! If the child fits well in the seat belt, check to be sure he or she can maintain that position for the length of your trip. If so, he or she is ready to wear the adult seat belt. If not, return to the booster seat and check again in a few months.
5. Read and follow the instructions for your car safety seat.
6. Be sure all car safety seats are locked into the car using the latch system or the seat belt.
® Chevrolet 2012 General Motors of Mexico, S. de R.L. de C.V.
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