Not only do we celebrate National Nanny Recognition Week this week, is the kick off to National Child Passenger Safety Week. This week starts today and is going until next Saturday. Why would we need a Child Passenger Safety Week? Child Passenger Safety is a very important topic when it comes to protecting children from harm in the car.
Did you know that:
- Road injuries are the leading cause of unintentional deaths to children in the United States.
- More than 70% of car seats are installed wrong.
- When installed and used correctly, child safety seats decrease the risk of fatal injury by 71 percent among infants, 5 percent among toddlers and 45 percent among children ages 4 – 8.
- Children should ride in a vehicle back seat until they are 13 years old.
Charlotte’s Best Nanny Agency had the privilege this week of being welcomed to the Britax car seat factory, located right to our south in Fort Mill, SC. It was so neat to see how their car seats are designed and what safety features they include, such as their “Click Tight” technology that makes car seat installation easier and ultimately safer for your children. Britax has put a lot of time and effort in innovating car seat technology to ensure they are bringing safe car seats to the market.
Britax has a reputation with parents of being one of the best car seat manufacturers around and we have the privilege of having them located so close to Charlotte. On our tour we were taken through the actual factory and got to see the seats being manufactured. Factory workers work hard throughout the day putting together the car seat components, inspecting each car seat, and boxing them up. The employees work 4-hour shifts at each station and switch do a different station after that. Britax came up with this method after doing some research on how to prevent repetitive motion injuries in their factory workers.
We were told by Britax that most orders are made to order and they do not have a lot of inventory warehoused. The products they send to the store are always recently manufactured. So chances are when you go to purchase a Britax car seat it was made recently in Fort Mill.
After our tour of the factory, we then went into Britax’s crash test lab and heard about all of the ways Britax crash test their seats, with crash test dummies that emulate a child’s body reaction in a crash. They do front, side, and back crash testing in this lab. During the crash test video that they showed us you can really see first hand the difference in impact and body reaction in a car seat that was properly installed and one that was not. During this section of the tour, we asked about all of the post-manufacturing accessories sold separately for car seats, such as seat covers, headrest, and other accessories and how they affect the safety of car seats. We were told unless your car seat manufacturer has tested a certain accessory with your brand and type of car seat, do not put it on your car seat as it can affect the safety of the car seat. So if you by a Britax car seat, look for Britax accessories that have been tested with your type of car seat. Or if you buy a Graco car seat, make sure you buy Graco approved accessories for your particular car seat.
From there we got to see their engineering departments were the prototypes of new car seats are made. Then we went through the design and sewing rooms, where the cover for the car seat is designed and developed for each car seat type that Britax sells. Overall this was a very informative tour and you can tell that Britax is passionate and proud of the car seats they sell to consumers.
Car Seat Safety Tips
1.) Always read your manual for your specific car seat – Read the manual front to back so you understand the ends and outs of your car seat.
2.) Make sure you are properly using the latch system – This goes along with reading your manual, you need to use the latch system or as well as the seat belt, whichever is recommended to properly install your car seat.
3.) Check the movement of the seat – Your car seat should move no more than less than one inch from side to side and front to back if installed correctly.
4.) Check the recline – For convertible car seats, one of the tricker parts of installation is checking to make sure the seat is in the right recline position for rear-facing installation. Please read your manual to determine how to adjust the seat to the proper reclining position.
5.) Take your car through a car seat safety check – To ensure proper installation, find a local car seat safety check and let a certified car seat safety technician check out your car seat for proper installation.
Car Seat Safety Checks
Have you ever taken your car seat through a car seat safety check? Around 70% of car seats are not installed correctly. There are opportunities throughout the year for you to get your car seat checked for proper installation. Below you can find some local places that provide car seat safety checks.
*call or check websites before showing up to a car seat safety check to ensure it is taking place that day.*
Child Safety Seat Check Bring your child, seat, and vehicle and plan to spend at least 20 minutes with a technician to help you learn how to install your seat correctly in your vehicle. This car seat check is held on Wednesdays from 9:00 am – 11:00 am at the Freedom Division office of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department at 4150 Wilkinson Blvd Charlotte N.C.