The Car Geek: Check your Children's SeatCheck

The Car Geek

Monday, February 12, 2007

Check your Children's SeatCheck

FACT: Motor vehicle crashes remain the number one killer of kids; seven out of 10 children are not properly restrained.

Parents can now have more reasons to ease their worries while driving with their kids as SeatCheck, a national public education campaign to provide parents with the resources to properly secure their children when traveling in motor vehicles created by DaimlerChrysler and its partners can now be easily accessed to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA) child safety seat technician locator database.

The free service - available online at or by calling 1-866-SEATCHCK - connects parents to the closest child safety seat inspection locations in their community to have their child's safety seat inspected for proper fit and use.

And in celebration of NHTSA's annual Child Passenger Safety Week which runs February 12-17, SeatCheck offers parents and caregivers the following safety tips to ensure proper fit and use of their child's safety seat:

* Infants must always be placed in rear-facing seats until they are at least one year old and 20 lbs. If less than a year old and more than 20 lbs., be sure they ride in a seat approved for heavier babies and continue to ride rear-facing until at least one year old. Children may ride rear-facing in many seats up to 35 lbs. Never place a rear-facing infant seat in front of a passenger air bag.

* Once children are forward-facing, they should ride in a forward-facing seat (convertible seat) until they reach approximately 40 lbs. All children who have outgrown child safety seats should be properly restrained in booster seats until they are 4'9" tall.

* Old/used child safety seats should not be used unless you are certain they have never been in a crash and you have all the parts (including instructions). Seats six years old or older should be discarded and never used. To check if your safety seat has been recalled, check the seat recall list on

* Always read both the vehicle owner's manual and the instructions that come with the child safety seat.

* Vehicles and rear- and forward-facing child safety seats manufactured after September 1, 2002, are equipped with LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren) to help ease the installation of child safety seats. For more information on LATCH, visit

* Children 12 & under should always be properly restrained in the back seat.

* It's important to remember that the "best" child safety seat is the one that correctly fits the child, the vehicle, and is used correctly every time.

* Get your child safety seats checked to make sure it is installed properly!

Make sure your children's safety is top priority when it comes to your car. After ensuring your children's safety seats are A-okay, make sure those Volkswagen parts are in top form too.