Safe Family: Child safety seats

By: Ryan Loyd Email
By: Ryan Loyd Email

Child safety seats can be difficult to install and use, but with the help of a new rating system, officials hope to encourage manufacturers to improve their designs and make finding those seats easier.

Child safety seats are very important in protecting your children. In fact, when properly used, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says they can reduce fatal injuries by 71% for infants and by 54% for toddlers. But that is only when they are properly used.

"The key points are get the right seat for child based on age and size, and that it's installed correctly," Sherman Fire Chief Jeff Jones says even the safest car seat won't be of any use if it's not installed correctly.

"New parents will get a car seat and they try to install, and if they get in an accident the seat can fail," Jones says.

The NHTSA recently revised its ratings for child restraints with a new system to better grade child safety seats for ease of use. The system ranks car seats on the content and clarity of labeling and instructions; the ease of securing the child, and the ease of installation and awards up to five stars in each category.

The old system used the letters A, B and C to designate safety, and last year, an 81% got a score of "A,” but in order for any seat to be considered safe, you must install and use it correctly.

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