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Roadside Chat - Who needs luck when you can buckle up

03/18/2022

3-18 who needs luckIn some ways, the majority of our kids are lucky because they are often oblivious to the dangers they face. As a parent, life experience has likely taught you to watch out for and protect your child from those dangers.  

But you didn’t bring your baby home with a set of instructions or a rulebook that you could refer to. As your child grows older, your decisions about their safety sometimes come into conflict with what your child wants. One of those times might be when your child asks to ditch the booster seat and ride with just a seat belt.

Whether in a car seat, booster or seat belt, children are always safer in the back seat. For your child to properly fit in a seat belt, he or she must be tall enough to sit without slouching and be able to:

  • Keep his or her back against the vehicle seat;
  • Keep his or her knees naturally bent over the edge of the vehicle seat; and
  • Keep his or her feet flat on the floor.

Additionally:

  • The lap belt must lie snugly across the upper thighs, not the stomach.
  • The shoulder belt should lie snug across the shoulder and chest, and not cross the neck or face.
  • Never let a child put the shoulder belt under an arm or behind the back because it could cause severe injuries in a crash.

Remember, always check your child’s seat belt fit in every vehicle. A booster seat may be needed in some vehicles and not in others. If the seat belt does not fit properly yet, your child should continue to use a booster seat.

Here’s a resource to help you make the safest seating choice for your child passenger - https://www.nhtsa.gov/equipment/car-seats-and-booster-seats

So far in 2022, there have been 52 deaths in traffic crashes. That’s an increase of 11 since last Friday. To see statistics published daily by the Office of Driver Services, go to the daily fatality report at https://www.iowadot.gov/mvd/stats/daily.pdf


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Iowa highway in the evening