All Children's Buckles Down on Car Seat Safety
According to the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention, car crashes are one of the top three causes of death among children nationally -- in 2011, they killed 650.
But health experts say that many fatalities can be prevented with the correct use of car seats. That's why All Children's Hospital is buckling down on car seat safety.
This month, All Children's is offering car seat classes to help parents learn the ins and outs of the straps, clips and latches to protect their precious cargo.
Petra Vybiralova is the Safe Kids Coordinator and car seat expert at All Children's. She said the back middle seat is the safest place for a car seat, but about 90 percent of parents in Florida make a mistake when installing it. Overconfidence, she said, can get in the way.
According to Vybiralova, using the correct anchor when installing the car seat is crucial, but many cars do not have car seat anchors in the back middle seat.
"The car seat itself is really a minimal portion of the whole picture," Vybiralova said. "And I would like everybody who has a car seat or is expecting a child, or has a child, to have it inspected to make sure they are using it correctly."
Vybiralova said three criteria are non-negotiable when shopping for car seats.
"One that fits your child, one that fits your car, and one that you can use correctly every time," Vybiralova said.
During the class, parents watch an instructional video, followed by hands-on practice outside. For parents unable to pay full boat for a car seat, discounted seats will also be offered.
To register, check out the Car Seat Safety webpage.