Make sure car seat is installed properly, other child travel safety tips

With lots of traveling to do this summer, experts say parents need to focus on keeping kids safe no matter how everyone is getting to their destination.

One major item for parents is getting their kids’ car seats checked, said National Transportation Safety Board member Jennifer Homendy.

“Parents think that they’re installing them correctly, and they’re not,” she said. “I didn’t, and the certified technician made appropriate corrections to make sure that my child was safe.”

The NTSB said child safety seats reduce the fatal injury rate by 71% for infants younger than 1 year old, and by 54% in toddlers between 1 and 4 years old.

The agency also said that when used appropriately, booster seats reduce a child’s risk of being injured or killed in a crash by 59% over the use of a seat belt alone.

Safekids.org has a list of car seat inspection stations.

Additionally, the NTSB recommends that car seats be used when traveling by plane, even though airlines allow children under the age of 2 to fly on a parent’s lap.

“We have to wear seat belts on a plane,” Homendy said. “Our children should be appropriately secured in their own seats as well.”

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