How to Install a Backless Booster Seat

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Booster seats are not tightly installed in the vehicle the way car seats are. Booster seats are held in place by the child’s weight and the vehicle’s lap-and-shoulder belts. These seats boost children up to ensure a correct seat belt fit.

Instructions for Installing a Backless Booster Seat

  1. Read the manufacturer’s instruction manual for your seat, and the portion of your vehicle owner’s manual on child restraint systems before you begin installing your backless booster seat. Every booster seat and vehicle is different, so it’s important to follow all instructions carefully.
  2. Place the booster in the back seat of your vehicle. Make sure the booster seat fits flat on the vehicle seat.
  3. Have your child sit in the booster seat.
  4. Pull the seat belt across your child’s body and buckle the seat belt.
  5. Make sure the belt fits your child properly. If the seat comes with seat belt guides, use them to achieve good belt positioning.
    1. Adjust the lap belt so it lies snugly across the child’s upper thighs, not across the stomach.
    2. Adjust the shoulder belt so it rests across the chest.
  6. Check the fit of the seat belt often.

Best Practice

Continue using the booster seat until your child is big and mature enough to fit an adult seat belt properly. Even if the child is not present, booster seats should be secured in the vehicle at all times. When not buckled in place, the booster seat can be tossed around the vehicle causing injury to vehicle occupants during a crash or sudden stop.

The above is a video from the article “Booster Seats”. For more information, please visit http://www.safercar.org.

At The Grandparents: Furniture Tip-Overs

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Furniture Tip-Overs

A child searching for something in a chest-of-drawers pulls out all the drawers. A child in the climbing stage tries to scale a bookcase. A child scrambles for the remote that has been placed atop a TV. All three of these scenarios can result in tragedy, when the item in question topples over on top of the child. Anchor tall pieces of furniture to the wall, or use anti-tip devices. Appliances can also be tipped over by a child, especially if there is a door that when open forms a convenient surface for climbing on.

The above is an excerpt from the article “Keeping Kids Safe at the Grandparents’ Home.” For more info, please visit www.about.com

Across the lap and in the back!

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The transition to a seat belt gives you another opportunity to teach your child about safety. The first message is simple: Even though your child is now the right size to fit a seat belt, the safest place to ride in the car is still in the back seat — buckled up.

As a parent, you influence your kids by modeling safe driving practices, including buckling up every time you get in the car. Teach your family that safety is the responsibility of all passengers as well as the driver.

 

The above is a video from the article “Beyond Booster Seats” by the United States Department of Transportation.

Waterhazards: Kid Safety at Grandma and Grandpa’s

baby-bath-shutterstock_166755554Pools and hot tubs are among the most hazardous features that a home can have, but all homes have drowning hazards. Bathtubs are obvious drowning hazards, but children also drown in such unlikely spots as mop buckets and toilets. Bathtubs, kiddie pools and buckets of all sorts should be emptied immediately after use. Toilet drownings occur just a few times a year, according to a Consumer Product Safety Commission report on drowning, but keeping the lid down helps, and toilet locks are available for extra safety. In the case of grandparents who do own swimming pools, grandchildren should be carefully supervised, even if they have had swimming lessons. Grandparents should also know what drowning looks like.

The above is an excerpt from the article “Keeping Kids Safe at the Grandparents’ Home.” For more info, please visit www.about.com

When is a child ready for an adult seat belt?

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The decision point for transitioning your child out of a booster seat and into a seat belt usually comes when the child is between 8 and 12 years old. Keep your children in booster seats until they outgrow the size limits of the booster seats or are big enough to fit properly in seat belts.

Fitting child correctly in a seat belt:

For a child to properly fit a seat belt, your child must:

  • Be tall enough to sit without slouching;
  • Be able to keep his or her back against the vehicle seat;
  • Be able to keep his or her knees naturally bent over the edge of the vehicle seat; and
  • Be able to keep his or her feet flat on the floor.

 

Additionally:

  • The lap belt must lie snugly across the upper thighs, not the stomach.
  • The shoulder belt should lie snug across the shoulder and chest, and not cross the neck or face.
  • Never let a child put the shoulder belt under the arm or behind the backs, because it could cause severe injuries in a crash.
  • Keep your child in the back seat because it is safer there.

 

The above is a video from the article “Beyond Booster Seats” by the United States Department of Transportation.

Grandparents: Be Sure to Handle Heat & Electricity

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Burning and electrocution are serious dangers, in part because most homeowners use both heat and electricity in their houses every day. It’s just smart to develop safe strategies and use them every day, whether grandchildren are on the premises or not. Setting the water heater thermostat at 120 degrees Fahrenheit will reduce the chance of hot water burns. Everyone’s home should be equipped with smoke detectors, and the batteries should be changed twice yearly. It’s a good idea for grandparents who enjoy candles to switch from regular candles to flameless ones, as older adults and children are most at risk from candle fires. When cooking, grandparents should develop the habit of using the back burners, even when the grandchildren aren’t in the house. Outlet covers are such an easy and inexpensive safety measure that it doesn’t make sense to skip them.

The above is an excerpt from the article “Keeping Kids Safe at the Grandparents’ Home.” For more info, please visit www.about.com

Beyond Booster Seats

The above is a video from the article “Beyond Booster Seats” by the United States Department of Transportation.

Grandparents: Help Prevent Poisonings

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Preventing Poisonings

On the topic of medication poisonings, that’s one of the easiest hazards to fix, and one of the most deadly if ignored. Around one-third of child medication poisonings involve medicines belonging to a grandparent. Lockboxes can readily be found online or at a local pharmacy. Grandparents should purchase one and use it. Lockboxes are required before a family can become a foster family. Shouldn’t grandparents meet that standard, too?

Further poisoning deaths and injuries can be avoided if cleaners and chemicals are kept out of sight and secured. This can be accomplished in more than one way. One way is to store all such items in a high cabinet. The problem is, first, that some houses don’t have a lot of high storage and, second, that grandparents may put themselves at risk if they are constantly having to retrieve items from high shelves. For that reason, it may be more practical to install the aforementioned locks or latches on cabinet doors. Don’t forget the chemicals that may be stored in garages, on porches, or in outdoor sheds.

The above is an excerpt from the article “Keeping Kids Safe at the Grandparents’ Home.” For more info, please visit www.about.com

Car Seat Recommendations for Children

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There are many car seat choices on the market. Use the information below to help you choose the type of car seat that best meets your child’s needs or print out this PDF (350 KB).

  • Select a car seat based on your child’s age and size, choose a seat that fits in your vehicle, and use it every time.
  • Always refer to your specific car seat manufacturer’s instructions (check height and weight limits) and read the vehicle owner’s manual on how to install the car seat using the seat belt or lower anchors and a tether, if available.
  • To maximize safety, keep your child in the car seat for as long as possible, as long as the child fits within the manufacturer’s height and weight requirements.
  • Keep your child in the back seat at least through age 12.

Rear-Facing Car Seat

Birth – 12 Months

Your child under age 1 should always ride in a rear-facing car seat. There are different types of rear-facing car seats:

  • Infant-only seats can only be used rear-facing.
  • Convertible and All-in-one car seats typically have higher height and weight limits for the rear-facing position, allowing you to keep your child rear-facing for a longer period of time.

1 – 3 Years

Keep your child rear-facing as long as possible. It’s the best way to keep him or her safe. Your child should remain in a rear-facing car seat until he or she reaches the top height or weight limit allowed by your car seat’s manufacturer. Once your child outgrows the rear-facing car seat, your child is ready to travel in a forward-facing car seat with a harness and tether.


Forward-Facing Car Seat

1 – 3 Years

Keep your child rear-facing as long as possible. It’s the best way to keep him or her safe. Your child should remain in a rear-facing car seat until he or she reaches the top height or weight limit allowed by your car seat’s manufacturer. Once your child outgrows the rear-facing car seat, your child is ready to travel in a forward-facing car seat with a harness and tether.

4 – 7 Years

Keep your child in a forward-facing car seat with a harness and tether until he or she reaches the top height or weight limit allowed by your car seat’s manufacturer. Once your child outgrows the forward-facing car seat with a harness, it’s time to travel in a booster seat, but still in the back seat.


Booster Seat

4 – 7 Years

Keep your child in a forward-facing car seat with a harness and tether until he or she reaches the top height or weight limit allowed by your car seat’s manufacturer. Once your child outgrows the forward-facing car seat with a harness, it’s time to travel in a booster seat, but still in the back seat.

8 – 12 Years

Keep your child in a booster seat until he or she is big enough to fit in a seat belt properly. For a seat belt to fit properly the lap belt must lie snugly across the upper thighs, not the stomach. The shoulder belt should lie snugly across the shoulder and chest and not cross the neck or face. Remember: your child should still ride in the back seat because it’s safer there.


Seat Belt

8 – 12 Years

Keep your child in a booster seat until he or she is big enough to fit in a seat belt properly. For a seat belt to fit properly the lap belt must lie snugly across the upper thighs, not the stomach. The shoulder belt should lie snugly across the shoulder and chest and not cross the neck or face. Remember: your child should still ride in the back seat because it’s safer there.

The above is an excerpt from the article “Car Seat Recommendations for Children.” For more info, please visit www.safercar.gov

Kid Safety at the Grandparents: A Shared Endeavor

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Keeping children safe requires a combination of close supervision and safety measures, the kind of measures normally referred to as childproofing the home. In the case of grandparents who host children occasionally rather than dealing with them daily, deciding which safety precautions should be implemented and which can be ignored can be a little tricky.

A Shared Endeavor

Grandparents should consider enlisting the help of the parents as they work on making their house a safe environment for their grandchildren. Not only are the parents likely to have valuable information, but also they will feel more confident about leaving their children in the grandparents’ care. It may even make sense to childproof both houses — the parents’ and the grandparents’ — at the same time. It’s probably not much harder to install 30 cabinet safety latches than it is to install 15.

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Another endeavor that may be easier with the parents’ help is the low-level security sweep. It is recommended that an adult survey the house at a child’s level to detect hard-to-see hazards. This maneuver can be difficult for grandparents, but can be easily accomplished by many parents.

No Such Thing as Childproof

Although childproofing is a commonly used term, no house is truly childproof, just as no medication container is childproof or child safe. When it comes to medicine holders, they are more accurately labeled child-resistant. It’s not just a matter of semantics. To meet the child-resistant label, 85% of the children in the test must be unable to open the container within five minutes. That means that some children might be able to open the container quickly and others could open it if given more time.

Just as no container is truly safe for children, no home, no matter how carefully policed, is childproof. Supervision is of cardinal importance. Still, there are safety measures that make sense for grandparents to implement.

The above is an excerpt from the article “Keeping Kids Safe at the Grandparents’ Home.” For more info, please visit www.about.com