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The best car seat is the one that properly fits your child and is used every ride. There are many manufacturers and brands to choose from, here are some important tips on choosing the right seat for your child:
- Choose a seat that properly fits your child’s size and fits in your car.
- Always read the car seat and vehicle’s manual for top height and/or weight restrictions and the installation instructions.
- Visit a Car Seat Fitting Station to have your car seat properly installed, Click Here to find a Suffolk County location near you.
- Children under 13 years should always ride in the back seat where it is safest. Airbags are designed for adults and can harm children in a crash.
- Rear facing car seats should never be in the front seat.
Infant: Rear Facing Car Seat (0-2 years)
It is recommended that children ride in a rear facing car seat (or convertible seat rear facing), in the back seat, at least until their 2nd birthday. Your child should remain in a rear facing car seat for as long as possible, until they outgrow the manufacturer’s top height OR weight limits. Convertible car seats usually have higher weight limits to allow your child to ride rear facing for longer.
Toddler: Rear Facing to Forward Facing Car Seat (2-4 years)
Keep your child in their rear facing car seat for as long as possible. Once they have outgrown the manufacturer’s top height OR weight, they are ready to move to a forward facing car seat with harness. If you are using a convertible car seat (rear to forward facing), keep your child rear facing for as long as the seat manufacturer allows it for their height OR weight.
Younger Children: Forward Facing to Booster Seat (4-8 years)
Your child is safest in a car seat with harness. Delay moving your child to a booster seat until they have outgrown their forward facing seat’s top height OR weight limit. Once your child is ready for a booster seat, make sure the lap and shoulder belt is always properly positioned. You child should continue to use a booster seat until they can properly fit in a seat belt alone, typically between 8-12 years old.
Older Children: Booster Seat to Seat Belt (8-12 years)
NYS law requires all children to remain in a proper child safety restraint (car/booster seat) until their 8th birthday. Seat belts are not designed for children, a booster seat helps raise a child up to properly fit in the belt. Keep your child in their booster seat until they can properly fit in a car’s seat belt, usually between 8-12 years old and they reach about 4’9” in height. For a seat belt to fit properly it must lay across your child’s hips, not stomach and the shoulder harness should lay comfortably, not against the face or neck. Your child should continue to ride in the back seat until their 13th birthday.
For more information, visit SaferCar.gov
Click here for Free Car Seat Fitting Stations (call for appointments)
Fire Is Not the Major Cause of Burn Injuries in children, SCALD BURNS ARE
In fact, at Stony Brook University Hospital, 87% of all our pediatric burn patients in 2014 were hospitalized because of burns from hot liquids or objects. For children ages 4 and under, 100% of our hospital admissions were for such burns.
Scald burns are burns caused by hot liquid or steam. They usually happen in the kitchen when someone is cooking or in the bathtub when the water is too hot. Children’s skin is thinner than an adults which makes them more sensitive to a burn.
Scald burns can be prevented. Nearly 75% of all scald burns in children are preventable, according to the latest data.
Keep these safety tips in mind when handling hot liquids:
- Install anti-scald devices on shower heads and tub faucets.
- Set your water heater thermostat to 120° F (49° C) or below.
- Check the water temperature with your elbow, wrist, or bath thermometer before bathing your child.
- When cooking, put your toddler in a safe area, such a high chair or play pen.
- Be careful with microwave soup containers, as they are a frequent source of scald burns.
- Open microwaved containers away from you and your child, as the steam can scald the skin.
- Test microwaved foods and drinks before giving them to a young child.
- Do not heat baby bottles in the microwave, as the heat may be unevenly distributed.
- In the kitchen, place any hot liquids to the back of countertops or the center of your table, away from the grasp of young children.
- Never carry a child while carrying a hot drink or hot food.
- Do not use tablecloths or placemats around young children, as they can pull on them and spill hot food or drinks.
First aid for scald burns is the same as for burns caused by fire:
- First, remove the source of heat from the injury. If the burn is at least second degree (blistered skin), remove any clothing from the site, unless it is already stuck to the skin. Cool the burn for about 10-15 minutes with cool or lukewarm water, as by running tap water over it.
- Ice should never be applied to a burn, as it can do further damage to the area around the injury.
- Blisters in second-degree burns should never be popped. This only increases chances of infection. It is best to wrap the injury very loosely to keep it clean, and seek expert medical attention. Do not place butter, toothpaste, or specialized creams on the burn.
Share these tips with all caregivers
Be sure to speak with your child’s babysitter and other caregivers about preventing scald burns, especially if they will be bathing your child or cooking around them.
For more information, please visit: www.safekids.org/safetytips/field_risks/burns-and-scalds
Falls are the most common type of injury we see in kids. And let’s face it, kids will be kids and they’re going to get some bumps and bruises. But we’re looking to prevent serious falls that cause injuries that need to be treated in an emergency room or hospital. Here are some tips to keep in mind:
Keep Them Low
• When your child is in a carrier or baby seat, keep it on the floor.
• Never place a baby seat or a baby carrier on any elevated surface (e.g., table, chair or bed) no matter what the age of your baby. Even newborn infants can move, which means they can fall.
Don’t Let Go
• Keep a hand on your baby whenever he or she is on a changing table or any raised surface.
• Hold your baby with a tight grip whenever he or she is in your arms. Be prepared for sudden jerks.
• Whenever your baby is in a car seat, a high chair, a supermarket cart, a swing or a carrier, be sure your baby is strapped in securely.
Buckle kids into seats
Remember to strap in your child every time they are in a raised seat like a high chair, stroller or swing. Children will reach and try to climb out of chairs. In just seconds a child can wiggle their way out of seat. Always place a child carrier on the floor, not a high surface like a counter top, couch or bed.
If possible, choose a shopping cart that has a low child’s seat, like the ones resembling cars. This will keep them closer to the ground in case they wiggle out. And remember to always buckle them in. If a shopping cart doesn’t have a buckle, choose a different one that does.
Help children learn to walk safely
Beware of baby walkers, they do not come with safety features to stop your child from falling down stairs or tipping over. Keep an eye on children as they learn to roll, crawl and eventually walk. And never leave a baby unattended on a raised surface like a bed or sofa for even a minute.
Block off stairs
Whether they go up or down a level, stairs can be dangerous for young children. Install safety gates to prevent children from climbing up or falling down a stair case. Always read the manufacturer’s instructions to make sure the gate is approved for top of stairs.
On the playground
Chose a playground that has a soft ground surface that can absorb some of the impact in case a fall does happen. Teach children to play safely by not pushing or shoving and to use the playground equipment as intended.
Feel free to print this sheet out about Fall Prevention, and share it with others who may be caring for your infant, or who have infants.
Find out more from our expert here.
We all know a helmet will protect our brains from a serious head injury. But helmets only work when you wear them. And it’s important for everyone to wear helmets, not just young children. Unfortunately, here at the Hospital we commonly see older kids coming in with serious injuries who were not wearing their helmet. As your child gets older and more independent, continue to enforce a helmet rule every time they ride.
Choose a helmet: There are many different types of helmets available for a range of activities. Make sure your child has the right kind of helmet for the sport or activity they are playing.
Get the right fit: Make sure your child’s helmet fits and is worn correctly. Click here to see the steps to properly fit a helmet
Use your head, wear a helmet: It’s up to you to make the safety rules for your child. As your child grows, they will be more influenced by peers who may not have to wear helmets. Be sure to set your rules while children are young and enforce them. If your child refuses to wear their helmet, then don’t let them ride their bike or other activity.
Set by example: Children learn by watching and modeling their parents. Set a good example and wear your helmet, even if you didn’t as a kid.
Know the laws: In NY, children under age 1 year are not allowed to be transported on bicycles. In Suffolk County, all children up to 18 years must wear a helmet when riding a bike, scooter, skateboard or skates.
A note about ATVs: All terrain vehicles (ATVs) are not safe for children. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that no child under age 16 ride an ATV of any size.
For more information on helmet and bike safety, please visit: www.safekids.org/bike