Keeping Your Children Safe on the Tempe Road
A parent’s first responsibility is to keep their child safe. Having your vehicle inspected and properly maintained by certified Tempe mechanics is a good place to start. Using the child passenger restraint equipment required by Arizona law, and installing car safety seats properly are other proven means of protecting your child.
All fifty states have laws requiring small children to ride in safety seats and older children to ride in belt positioning booster seats. Arizona law requires that all children under the age of four ride in an approved car seat. A child between the ages of five and seven years old and under 57 inches tall is required to ride in a booster seat. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommends that all infants and toddlers ride in a rear facing car seat until they reach the age of two, or until they reach the greatest height and weight recommended by the manufacturer of the car seat.
Once a child has outgrown the rear facing car seat they can move into a forward facing car seat with a chest harness. It’s recommended they remain in this forward facing car seat until they reach the greatest height or weight allowed by the manufacturer. Many car seats are made to be convertible, meaning they can be used in the rear facing position when the child is smaller and when they outgrow the recommended size for a rear facing car seat the same seat can then be turned around and used as a forward facing car seat.
After your child outgrows the maximum size for the forward facing car seat they should move into a belt positioning booster seat and continue to use it until they are tall enough for the vehicle seat belt to fit them properly. Generally, the guidelines for a child to ride without a booster seat state they should be over 4’9” or eight years old.
In order to effectively protect your child, car seats must be used and installed properly. Often, parents mistakenly think that if the car seat is buckled into the car and the child is buckled into the car seat that’s all that’s needed. Here are some car seat safety seat tips:
Adjust the Harness
The shoulder straps should go through the slots that will place them closest to the level of your child’s shoulders and the harness clip should be centered and at the armpit level. The crotch strap also has slots for adjustment. The entire harness should fit your child as snugly as possible without being uncomfortably tight.
Installing the Car Seat
Car seats can be secured in your vehicle using the seatbelt and/or the LATCH system (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children) system. Depending which you find easier, the lower anchors may be used in place of the seatbelt to install the seat. Whether you use the seatbelt or the lower anchors, the top tether anchor should always be used with all forward facing car seats. When installing a car seat it’s important that you press as much air as possible out of your vehicle seat that the car seat is placed on. In order to do this, you can place your knee in the car seat and use your body weight to press down. The car seat must be installed as tightly as possible, if you can move the seat around more than an inch it’s not tight enough. All rear facing seats have built-in angle indicators that must also be properly positioned.
When a child’s weight or height exceeds the limit for their forward facing car seat they should use a belt positioning booster seat until they are big enough for the seatbelt to fit them properly.
Regardless of the type of seat used, all children younger than 13 years should be restrained in the rear seat of a vehicle for optimal safety.
Your family is your most precious cargo, so don’t trust just any mechanics at just any Tempe auto repair shop to maintain your vehicle. The professional mechanics at family owned Scottsdale Muffler and Automotive offer quality auto repair and maintenance services that will keep your car running and driving safely.
Published By Fred McCurdy
Scottsdale Muffler & Automotive
1710 E Curry Rd
Tempe, AZ 85281
Monday: 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Tuesday: 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Wednesday: 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Thursday: 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Friday: 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.