POSTS WITH TAG: car seat safety

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    It is so bleeping hard to install car seats. Figuring out how to squeeze that hulking contraption into your car, then weave the seat belt through the proper holes, then loosen and tighten the straps ... it's enough to send any parent into a road rage even before they even stick their key in the ignition. That's why moms and dads will have a chuckle watching this video -- a public service announcement by the Toyota-sponsored safety campaign Buckle Up for Life, which portrays parent after parent struggling to install car seats, with hilarious results.

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    Here's a scary statistic for parents: car crashes are the leading killer of children 1 to 12 years old in the United States. Here's another one: some 70 percent of car seats are installed improperly. Never want to get in a car with your child again? Don't worry ... as confusing as those car seat manuals can be, we've got the answers to your biggest questions about safety seats.

    The experts have weighed in on parents' biggest mistakes in the backseat -- and how to fix them!

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    All right Moms and Dads, time for a little honesty. Have you ever left your kids in the car? Ever? EVER? You never hear moms admit it in public, but a new survey is out that claims 70 percent of parents say they have no problem leaving their child alone in a parked car.

    That's a pretty high number of parents 'fessing up to something that fills moms with righteous indignation. Soooooo ... ready to jump on the judgy mom bus and drive right over those awful, awful parents? The rest of the Internet is doing it, so why not you? Well, hold on, just a second, would you?

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    Gah. Sometimes as parents, we just can't win no matter what we do. And I'm sure that's exactly how Kate Middleton and Prince William are feeling right about now as they embark on the first part of their Royal Tour in New Zealand.

    Get this one -- they're being called irresponsible because Prince George's car seat in the royal limo is forward-facing. Supposedly the Duke and Duchess told the technician who installed it in the car to put it in that way.

    And I know what you're thinking -- aren't babies supposed to be in rear-facing seats until they're at least over a year old?

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    Kim Kardashian may have just spent the last few days in NYC, hanging out with Anna Wintour and Seth Meyers, but she's back on the road, along with the whole Kardashian-Jenner brood! Including little scene-stealer North West, of course, who was riding along in a car seat when Auntie Khloe snapped an adorbs shot of her and posted it to Instagram to showcase her Kardashian Kids outfit. Cue the haters!

    Some of Koko's followers freaked upon noticing that North's hand was tucked underneath part of the seat belt. Insults directed at Kim and her poor parenting skills started to run rampant. Ugh.

    Here's the pic ...

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    Car seat safety for our kids is incredibly necessary -- and it's really essential you read the manual and do everything properly and not leave anything to chance. While it's ideal to have the car seat installed by a certified expert when possible, most of us don't. We're too busy, too rushed, or too certain that we know how to do it ourselves. In fact, Allana Pinkerton, Global Safety Advocate for Diono, says that when parents come in for a car seat check, at least 80 percent of them are installed wrong!

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    When we put our kids in their car seats -- coats off, buckle here, buckle there, snap, snap, snap, secure -- we feel like we've got them in this chamber of safety. It seems so safe, when we put on our own seat belt, we think, Wow, that's it? Even with all the buckling and protection that a car seat offers a child, adults are still safer in the event of an accident with our simple seat belt. This is because kids' bodies just aren't as developed or able to survive an accident without an increased risk of harm. We have to be on top of the latest car seat safety rules. Thankfully federal regulators are and have proposed a new standard for car seat side-impact protection. But this so-called new standard has been trying to get passed for a decade.

    As it is now, the side-impact protection on many seats is not safe enough because car seats were only required to test based on accidents from the front. There's a good chance your kid's car seat isn't as safe as it could be.

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    Ever since my daughter was born, I've been sitting in the back seat with her if I'm not driving. It started when we were leaving the hospital, and almost two years later, it's still how we roll. I always kind of assumed this was the norm for moms of only one, but the other day I was talking to a friend, and she casually mentioned an upcoming road trip she was taking with her 5-month-old and husband, saying, "If he gets fussy, I can always sit with him in the back for a while."

    Wait. If he gets fussy? Doesn't everyone always sit in the back with their little one?

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    I don't care if Farrah Abraham is in Playboy 20 more times or how much weight she's lost. I also don't care if her 4-year-old daughter Sophia is still sucking on a pacifier. Maybe she just likes it once in a while? What upsets me is that the little girl is in what I assume to be a booster seat -- I can't tell for sure, but it's clear she isn't in a car seat.

    The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says that children should be in a forward-facing car seat at 4 until they grow out of it in height and weight. Sophia doesn't turn 5 until February 23. This is what I find most shocking, particularly since Sophia's dad Derek Underwood died in a car accident before she was even born.

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    When I find out who heads up the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, I may have to kiss him (or her!) on the mouth. The folks who deal with all things safe in the car have come out with a suggestion that many kids should remain in a booster seat until -- get this -- 12 years old!

    And to that I say thank you! It's about time somebody said it!

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