INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Franciscan St. Francis Health child passenger safety technicians will provide free car seat installation help and inspections in Indianapolis on Tuesday.
The registered nurses who offer the car seat help are also offering tips for parents to remember. Before installing a car seat, they strongly advise fully reading the instructions. Additionally, child safety passenger technicians say not every car seat and vehicle are a good marriage, so don’t be afraid to try out a seat or return it if it doesn’t work.
If a car seat is not installed properly, it could be very dangerous for your child and others in the car. An empty booster seat that is not buckled in could go flying and injure the driver or another passenger in a crash.
Experts also strongly encourage parents to keep babies and toddlers rear-facing as long as possible.
“You want to protect the head, neck and spine, and it’s more protected rear-facing; they’re five times safer rear-facing, that’s huge. So you want to make sure they’re rear facing as long as possible. The recommendation is at least two years of age and in some states it’s even a law,” registered nurse Sharilyn Renee Wagner said.
Indiana is not one of those states where it is a law to keep your kids rear-facing until two years old, but it is recommended. Nurses say even if your children’s legs need to be bent or crossed while rear-facing, it’s still safer than turning them forward.
As your child grows, transitions from an infant carrier car seat all the way up through to a booster will happen, but it can be hard to tell when to do that. Sometimes the recommendations are a combination of weight, height and age. Nurses tell 24-Hour News 8: don’t rush it.
“You have some precious cargo. This is one time where you don’t want to graduate. This is not like ‘Oh, a milestone.’ You don’t want to do that. You want to keep them rear-facing as long as they can up to the manufacturers recommendation or two years of age. Or even for booster seats or whatever seat that you have, this is the one time you don’t want to graduate too soon,” Wagner explained.
If you’re unsure of how to install any level car seat or which one your child should be in, the Seat ‘Em Safely event is a time to get those questions answered.
It is scheduled for Tuesday from 11 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. outside the Franciscan St. Francis Weight Loss Center at 5230 E. Stop 11 Road in Indianapolis.
If you can’t make it, you can make an appointment with a child passenger safety technician.
Click here for more information.