Alisa Baer M.D, also known as “The Car Seat Lady” and her advocacy group, has installed a collective 45,000 car seats in its more than 30 years. Dr. Baer lists four things often overlooked when it comes to proper car seat usage:
- Transitioning to soon: This can be from rear-to-front facing or from a five-point-harness to a booster seat (where the vehicle seat belt is used as the form of restraint) and to just the seat belt alone.
2. Not using the tether strap: Dr. Baer states that every forward facing car seat manufactured in the United States comes with a tether strap and every vehicle manufactured since 2000 comes with three places to secure that strap. The tether is important, she said, because it reduces head movement by 4 to 6 inches. Head injuries are the most common form of injury in a car crash.
3. Everyone, including adults, need to be buckled especially while in the back seat: Dr. Baer said that even if a child is restrained properly, an unbelted adult can become a “human missile” in a car crash, severely injuring others in the car. Studies show, she said, that the people who aren’t buckled up are up to three times more likely to die in that same crash.
4. Check snugness: Dr. Baer said, “Make sure the seat is snug to the car and the child snug in the harness.”
If you would like more information, Dr. Baer has a great website. Visit her at The Car Seat Lady