September is National Child Passenger Safety Awareness Month, and time for caregivers to review the child safety seats their little ones are using. While inflation and other pressures mean many families are looking to save money, purchasing a car seat is not the time to skimp, due to the dangers posed by secondhand or potentially counterfeit seats.
"Don't install a used seat, an expired seat, or a seat that's been in a collision, and make sure it was tested according to federal standards," said Robert Sinclair Jr, senior manager of public affairs at AAA. "It's also crucial to make sure you're using a car seat correctly to keep your child safe in a crash. If installed properly, the car seat should not be able to move more than an inch in any direction at the belt path and there should be no slack if you pinch the strap at the child's shoulder," said Sinclair.
Nissan introduced Snug Kids®, an industry-first program, 20 years ago. It is geared specifically toward safety for children in child restraint systems (CRS), commonly referred to as "child safety seats." Not all CRS fit in all vehicles. Nissan safety engineers have spent thousands of hours evaluating hundreds of CRS by installing them in the rear seats of Nissan and INFINITI vehicles. The result is the Snug Kids® Child Safety Seat Fit Guide, which helps parents confidently select a CRS that fits their Nissan or INFINITI while also providing valuable tips on the proper fit of a CRS.
For additional help correctly installing car seats, parents can search a list maintained by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to find certified technicians in their area.
"Parents and caregivers also should read their child restraint system's owner's manual and vehicle owner's manual to ensure proper installation and use of car seats and boosters," said Gapinski. "I'm often asked which car seat is the best, and my response is ‘the one that best fits your vehicle and that you can install and use correctly every time.'"
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