Child Passenger Safety
In New Hampshire, 90% of car seats that are checked at car seat check up events are incorrect. Studies have shown that child safety seats reduce fatal injuries to infants by 71% and to toddlers by 54%. With this in mind, LRH maternity staff feels strongly that it is their responsibility to educate parents about car seat safety. In 2018, more than 300 children went home in safe car seats.
LRH is fortunate to have several staff members who are trained in child passenger safety. LRH is committed to ensuring that your newborn leaves the hospital in a safe car seat that is installed in your vehicle correctly. All of the Child Passenger Safety Technicians (CPST's) are very familiar with different types of car seats, seat belts, and proper placement of your child into the appropriate seat. They will also assist you in installing the seat into your vehicle.
Child Passenger Safety Rules
- Every person on every ride must use a car seat, booster seat, or safetybelt that's right for his or her weight and height.
- All children under the age of 13 ride in the back seat.
- Know where the airbags are in your vehicles. They can be in the front seat, on the roofline, or in a back seat. Some airbags can be turned off.
- Follow manufacturer's instructions for car seats, booster seats, and vehicle safety at all times.
- Don't share safety belts. Use one safety belt for each person in the car.
- Weigh and measure children often to be sure they are using the right safety device.
- Install car seats using a locked vehicle safety belt or LATCH system. Read labels and instructions to know how to do this.
- Never use car seats purchased from yard sales, secondhand stores, or flea markets.
- Never let children ride on laps or in cargo areas or pickup truck beds.
Four Steps for Safety
1. Infants-use a rear facing car seat to at least age two. Use your rear facing car seat longer if the seat has higher weight and height limits. The next step to a forward facing car seat when your child is two year old or exceeds the car seat's rear-facing height and weight limits and their head is within one inch of the car seat top.
2. Toddlers-use a forward-facing car seat (convertible or combo seat) until the harness no longer fits. Take the next step to a booster seat when your child exceeds the car seat's height and weight limits, their shoulders are above the care seat's top harness slot, or to the top of your child's ear are above the car seat.
3. Boosters-use a booster seat with the vehicle lap and shoulder safety belts until your child passes the Safety Belt Fit Test.
Safety Belt Fit Test
a. Have your child sit all the way back on the vehicle seat. Do his or her knees bend at the front edge of the seat? If they bend naturally, go to "b". If they don't, return your child to the booster seat.
b. Buckle the lap and shoulder belt. Be sure the lap belt rests on the upper legs or hips. If it does, go to "C". If it rests on the stomach, return your child to the booster seat.
c. Be sure the shoulder belt rests on the shoulder or collarbone. If it does, go on to "d". If it's on the face or neck, return to the booster seat. Never put the shoulder belt under the child's arm or behind the child's back.
d. Check whether your child maintains the correct seating position for as long as you are in the car. If your child slouches or shifts position so the safety belt touches the face, neck or stomach, return your child to the booster seat.
4. Safety Belts-Once your child passes the Safety Belt Fit Test, require him or her to use safety belts in a back seat in every vehicle on every ride whether or not you are there. A lap and shoulder belt provides the best protection to your child and helps him or her to maintain the correct seating osition.
If you are interested in having your car seat checked for size and safety, please call Littleton Regional Healthcare's Maternity Department at 603-444-9567 to speak to one of the Child Passenger Safety Technicians.
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