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Quiz: Is Your Child Safe in the Car?

So you passed your driver’s test at 16, but can you pass our car seat test to ensure the safety of your child? Put your car seat knowledge to the test; what you don’t know or thought you knew might surprise you.

1.) The percentage of car seat misuses is…
a.) 30%
b.) 65%
c.) 45-50%
d.) 80-95%

Correct Answer D: 80 to 95% of car seats are being misused either because the car seat isn’t installed correctly, the child is in the wrong seat or the child isn’t placed in the seat properly. Car accidents are the number one cause of death in children under the age of 5. While you might have the latest and greatest car seat, it’s worthless if not installed or used correctly.

2.) How far should my rear-facing car seat recline?
a.) 45 degrees
b.) 60 degrees
c.) 90 degrees
d.) 30 degrees

Correct Answer A: Newborns and infants should recline at a 45-degree angle max.  Now-a-days, car seats come with a built-in level indicator to help you get it in the right position.  It’s okay to use a tightly wrapped towel or pool noodle to help adjust the recline.

3.) If I have concerns about my car seat, whom should I consult?
A.) Consumer Reports
B.) Internet blogs/reviews
C.) A car seat technician
D.) Sales clerk at Babies R Us

Correct Answer C: If you have concerns about the safety or effectiveness of a car seat please consult with a car seat technician; she is certified to give you the most current information. 

4.) How can you tell when the straps are properly tightened?
a.) You can fit two fingers in between your child and the chest clip
b.)  You can’t pull the straps any tighter
c.) You can place your hand under the chest clip
d.) There isn’t any slack to pinch at your child’s collarbone

Correct Answer D: At your child’s collarbone, use your forefingers to pinch the straps. You should not be able to pinch any slack. If you are, pull those straps a little tighter.

5.) Where should the chest clip be positioned?
a.) Around your child’s belly button
b.) At your child’s neck
c.) Between your child’s nipples and armpits
d.) None of the above

Correct Answer C: The chest clip belongs between the nipples and armpits. This positions the straps so your child stays secure in the seat.

6.) When are most kids ready for a regular seat belt?
a.) 5 years old
b.) 6 years old
c.) 7 years old
d.) None of the above

Correct Answer D: There is no specific age for a child to move out of a booster seat. Some organizations will give a rough guideline, stating your child must be 80-100 lbs. or more than 4’9.” What is most important is to evaluate your child and see whether he meets these criteria. Do his legs bend at the knees at the edge of the seat? Is he mature enough to remain seated the entire time the car is in motion. The child should not slouch, the lap belt should rest high on his thighs or low on his hips, and the shoulder belt cross the shoulder and chest.
 

7.) Your 20-month-old’s feet are touching the back of the seat in a rear-facing car seat. You should:
a.) Move her to a booster seat
b.) Move her to a forward-facing seat
c.) Move her to the front seat
d.) Continue using your seat to its weight and age limits

Correct Answer D: Your toddler will be 5 times safer in a rear-facing position until she has met both the weight and height requirements. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that your child ride rear facing until she is 2 years old and 30 lbs.

8.) How much should a car seat move once it is installed?
a.) ½ inch
b.) 1 inch
c.) ¾ inch
d.) 2 inches

Correct Answer B: If you grab your car seat at its base and give it a little tug, it’s normal for it to wiggle a little, but no more than an inch. Use a tether to secure the seat even more.

9.) It’s okay to buy a car seat from…
a.) Thrift store
b.) Craigslist/eBay
c.) Garage sale
d.) Retail store

Correct Answer D: Buying a car seat from a retail store brand new will ensure that it has never been in an accident. You will be able to register it for recall purposes, and it will come with the instruction manual and manufacturer’s label. Buying it second hand from someone you don’t know could be risky. That’s not to say you couldn’t borrow/buy one from a girlfriend, just as long you have all the right information to go along with it.

10.) After a minor car accident, I am still able to use my car seat. True or False?

Correct Answer True: In most cases, but you must evaluate your accident and the condition of the car seat. An accident is considered minor if the air bags do not deploy, the vehicle can be driven away, there is no visible damage to the car seat and there are no injuries. If in doubt, have your seat inspected by a Child Safety Seat Inspection Station. 

11.) What will also affect your child’s safety while in the car seat?
a.) Wearing a winter coat
b.) Twisted harnesses
c.) Carrying/handle bar is in upright position
d.) All of the above

Correct Answer D: All can be hazardous to your child while in his car seat. The harness straps must be tight on your child’s shoulders, and adding that extra cushion of fabric would interfere. Also, the harness straps should never be twisted, because a twisted strap means leff surface area to restrain a child in an accident. The car seat handle is perfect for hanging toys, but it’s also a threat. In an accident, the handle can break, injuring the infant or other passengers.

Need to Know More?

 

Recall Information
http://www.CarSeat.org/Recalls/179NP.pdf
http://www-odi.NHTSA.dot.gov/cars/problems/recalls/childseat.cfm
Or call NHTSA at1.800.424.9393 or 1.888.DASH.2.DOT
Car Seat Inspection Stations
http://www.NHTSA.gov/cps/cpsfitting/index.cfm

Jennifer Duxbury is a SAHM from Olathe who didn’t know as much as she thought she did about car seat safety until she wrote this article!

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