Child Car Safety 101

One of the arguably most important things that you need to worry about when operating a motorized vehicle of any kind is your safety and the safety of your passengers – especially your children. Child car safety is so important, in fact, every year, car accidents are the cause of millions of deaths and countless more injuries, so you need to do everything you can to protect both yourself and your little ones in case an accident happens to you.

Adult Car Safety

Now, car safety for adults is a relatively simple concept – there’s the seatbelt and the airbag to protect us from dangerous situations, but for our children it’s not so simple. Their frames are simply too small for a seatbelt to be efficient, so another piece of equipment might be necessary; a child’s car seat. However, if you plan to use a car seat then it’s essential that you know how it works, and that you know how to install it properly; otherwise it won’t do your little one much good.

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Child Car Safety

There are there separate mechanisms that a regular child’s car seat operates on, and together they provide your child with the proper safety in the event of an accident. The mentioned mechanisms are as follows:

1) The side-impact lateral cushions protect your children from any forces that might come upon them from the side of the vehicle, absorbing some of the impact.

2) The harness is based on five points instead of the regular three that you have on a normal seatbelt. This means that the sudden force will be more equally distributed, reducing the chance of serious injury.

3) The seat is actually attached to the backseat of your vehicle, ensuring that the seat itself won’t surrender to the overwhelming physical forces and fly out-of-place or topple over, which would include further risk into equation.

As for installing the seat itself, the infographic below will provide you with more detailed instructions on how to do so. Some of the most important points are to check the harness slot is at shoulder height if the seat is rear-facing, that the recline angle is set up correctly, and that the harness isn’t twisted. Good luck!

How car seats work infographic - CleverlychangingHow car seats work infographic - Cleverlychanging


Rachel Fink is a mom of 7 and the owner of Parenting Pod. Rachel has a Bachelors degree in Applied Science and Engineering and has contributed her expertise to  numerous information pieces such as the “How Car Seats Work” visual.

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