Car Seat Safety by Age and Local Inspection Sites

In the United States the number one cause of death to a child aged 1 to 12 years old is a car crash. To reduce the chances of death or injury and to protect children, a proper car seat or booster seat should be used every time they travel in a car. By knowing proper car seat safety and getting car seats inspected by a certified technician, parents can decrease their child’s chance of injury in a car accident.

According to Safe Kids USA, when properly installed and used correctly, car seats reduce fatal injuries by 71% for infants and 54% for toddlers in passenger cars. For children ages 4 to 8, up to 83% ride improperly in adult seatbelts, yet the proper use of a booster seat can reduce the risk of a nonfatal injury by 45% compared to seat belt use alone.

Over the past few years, recommendations for car seats have be amended based on new research as well as the expansion of weight limits for new seats on the market. It is now recommended that infants and toddlers remain in a rear facing seat until at least two years of age.  Infant’s skeletal and muscular systems are immature to handle an impact in a crash. Their neck bones and ligaments surrounding them are still very flexible, while the spinal cord is not. If facing forward in a crash, a child’s body is held in by the straps, but their head and neck are not. This could cause severe injury, paralysis or even death, depending on the severity of the crash. Children in some European countries such as Sweden ride rear facing until they are three to five years old. They remain rear facing to the maximum weight limit that the car seat will allow.

Toddlers and preschoolers are recommended to remain in the harness straps of the car seat for as long as the seats limitations will allow, but at least a minimum of 4 years old AND 40 pounds. The longer children remain in a harness, the safer they are. Harnesses equally distribute the impact across the child, as well as restraining them more than seat belt use with a booster seat.

School aged children who have outgrown the weight and height limits for a harnessed car seat should use a belt positioning booster seat. The booster seat allows the vehicle’s seat belt to sit correctly across a child’s waist and chest so that internal injuries can be reduced in an accident. Belt positioning booster seats should be used until the recommended height of 4 feet 9 inches tall AND at least the age of 8-10 years old.

For older children who have grown out of belt positioning booster seats, a vehicle seat belt alone needs to be used. All children under the age of 14 should be restrained in the rear seat so they are not injured by passenger air bags.

Proper use of the car seat harness is important for the safety of a child in an accident.  The harness straps should be snug against the child’s body, while the chest clip should be at armpit level so the straps remain securely on the shoulders. Aftermarket accessories, such as head supports and harness comfort pads, should NOT be used unless they came with the car seat directly from the manufacturer. Other accessories that add padding between the child and the car seat should also not be used, as they can interfere with the proper placement of the harnesses, increasing the risk of injury in an accident.

To best protect your child in a crash, car seats must be installed and used correctly. Typically three out of four car seats are not. Many parents become confused or frustrated when installing a car seat or adjusting the harnesses.

We’ve compiled a list of local certified car seat installation technicians for parents to aid in the proper installation and use so children can remain safe.

Nassau County

Garden City - Garden City Police Department
Where:
349 Stewart Avenue, Garden City, NY 11530
Contact Info:
516-465-4121
Hours:
By appointment only

Great Neck - Biener Audi
Where:
795 Northern Boulevard, Great Neck, NY 11021
Contact Info:
George Mengisopoulos 516-382-0262
Hours: By appointment only

Hempstead - Education & Assistance Corporation
Where: 175 Fulton Avenue, Hempstead, NY 11550
Contact Info:
Angela Brockmann 516-292-7262
Hours:
By appointment only; se habla Espanol

Hempstead - Town of Hempstead Department Public Safety
Where: 200 North Franklin Street, Hempstead, NY 11550
Contact Info: Pat Brace 516-538-1900, EXT 217
Hours:
Weds, 9AM-1:30PM. By appointment only

Hicksville - Nassau County Traffic Safety Board
Where: 170 Cantiague Rock Road, Hicksville, NY 11801
Contact Info:
Christopher Mistron 516-571-9664
Hours: Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday by appointment only

Mineola - Nassau County Traffic Safety Board
Where: 100 County Seat Drive, Mineola, NY 11501
Contact Info:
Christopher Mistron 516.571.1893
Hours: By appointment only

New Hyde Park - North Shore – LIJ Health System
Where: 269-01 76th Avenue, New Hyde Park, NY 11040
Contact Info:
Debora Riccardi 718-470-3352
Hours: By appointment only

Plainview - North Shore – LIJ Health System
Where: 888 Old Country Road, Plainview, NY 11803
Contact Info:
Nicole Santora 516-719-2613
Hours:
Monthly; appointment required.

Woodbury - Strapped In Car Seat Safety
Where: 13 Woodtree Drive, Woodbury
Contact Info: Brett Solomon 516-521-3696
Hours: By Appointment. House Calls Available.
www.strappedincarseatsafety.com

Suffolk County

Brentwood - New York State Police
Where:
800 Crooked Hill Road, Brentwood, NY 11717
Contact Info:
Brian Horgan 631-231-5962
Hours: By appointment only

Central Islip - Education and Assistance Corporation
Where: 80 Wheeler Road, Central Islip, NY 11722
Contact Info: Angela Brockmann 631-648-7100, EXT 210
Hours: By appointment only

Farmingdale - New York State Police Troop L
Where: 7140 Republic Airport, Farmingdale, NY 11735
Contact Info:
Frank Bandiero 631-756-3389
Hours:
Call for date of open Saturdays each month; others by appointment only

Farmingville - Town of Brookhaven Division of Traffic Safety
Where: 1 Independence Hill, Farmingville, NY 11738
Contact Info:
Jon Sullivan 631-451-6480
Hours:
By appointment only

QuogueVillage of Quogue Police Department
Where: 115 Jessup Avenue, Quogue, NY 11959
Contact Info:
Patrol Officer Kellie Hanley 631-653-4791
Hours:
By appointment only

Riverhead - Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office
Where:
100 Center Drive, Riverhead, NY 11901
Contact Info:
Deputy Sheriff Allison Zachino 631-852-2651
Hours:
3rd Wednesday each month; 9 AM-11:30 AM. By appointment only.

Riverhead - Town of Riverhead Police Department
Where: 210 Howell Avenue, Riverhead, NY 11901
Contact Info:
David Hegermiller 631-727-4500, EXT 335
Hours: By appointment only

Westhampton - Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office Substation
Where: Gabreski Airport, County Road 31, Westhampton, NY 11977
Contact Info:
Arthur Sanchez 631-852-2650
Hours:
Every other Weds; 9 am – 11:30 am. By appointment only.

West IslipGood Samaritan Hospital
Where:
1000 Montauk Highway, West Islip, NY 11795
Contact Info: 631-376-4109
Hours:
By appointment only

West Sayville - West Sayville Fire Department
Where:
80 Main Street, West Sayville, NY 11796
Contact Info:
Edward Postel 631-567-9464
Hours:
By appointment only

 

By Pamela Boccia

 

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